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Imperial Russian Waterways: Moscow to St. Petersburg - 2019

Moscow • Uglich • Goritsy • Lake Onega/Kizhi Island • Mandrogi • St. Petersburg
  • VISIT MOSCOW’S RED SQUARE, A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
  • ENJOY AN INCLUDED TOUR OF THE HERMITAGE MUSEUM
  • ENJOY AN INCLUDED TOUR OF CANALS OF ST. PETERSBURG
  • CHURCH OF THE TRANSFIGURATION, KHIZI ISLAND
  • THE MS ROSTROPOVICH, REBUILT IN 2010
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St. Petersburg to Moscow

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DAY 1:

Depart U.S.A.

Travel to Russia on an overnight flight bound for St. Petersburg tonight. If you took our pre-trip extension, you’ll arrive by train.

DAY 2:

Arrive in the Imperial Capital

If you booked your airfare through Vantage, a Vantage representative will greet you and arrange your transfer to your hotel. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Briefing and Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

St. Petersburg’s “rainbows”

Today you'll begin your discoveries of St. Petersburg, Peter the Great’s “Window on the West,” a dazzling baroque city of white, gold, and pastels — and one of the best reasons to travel to Russia. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the city that's been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll admire Church on Spilled Blood, where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881, and Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main thoroughfare that is the focal point of shopping, dining, and nightlife. Its myriad bridges make it a lovely walking path to admire the glistening canals — the reason why this metropolis is often called the “Venice of the North.”

This afternoon after lunch on your own, tour St. Petersburg’s canals, which are part of the historic group of monuments known collectively as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And besides a storied history, what connects these banks? Beautiful bridges, of course. Adornments include statues, horses, griffins, and sphinxes, and the spans all come in a plethora of hues. See them and Yusupov Palace, legendary site of Rasputin’s slaying. This afternoon you have at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 4:

Follow in the steps of the tsars

St. Petersburg is lovely for strolling — perhaps you’ll walk through any number of public parks, take an independent hop-on, hop-off canal cruise, or visit the Fabergé museum and marvel at the works of master jeweler Carl Fabergé, who created his famous artisanal eggs and more for the last two Russian tsars.

Today you'll also visit Catherine I's palace, yet another magnificent landmark of the tsarist era and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built for the wife of Peter the Great, the palace is surrounded by serene gardens and once served as the summer residence of the Russian tsars.

This afternoon, enjoy an optional tour to the Cruiser Aurora — considered the cornerstone of the 1917 revolution, where the first shots to set off the conflict were fired — and the Museum of Russian Political History.

The rest of the day is yours to explore, or join us for another optional tour at a lively show of Russian folk music and dance this evening. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Roots of Revolution: 100 Years Later,

Roots of Revolution: 100 Years Later

  • Approximate Cost: $66 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • When: Afternoon tour

Step on board the legendary Cruiser Aurora, the flagship of the Russian Navy, on this optional tour that also includes the Museum of Russian Political History. Your explorations begin on board the vessel that has anchored the waterfront of Petrogradskaya Embankment since 1948, a landmark symbolizing the shot that was fired to signal revolutionaries to storm the Winter Palace in 1917, the start of the Revolution. Step back in time on board for 500 fascinating nautical artifacts, then head to the Museum of Russian Political History, housed in a former mansion that was once a Bolshevik headquarters.  Learn about Stalin, the formation of the Soviet state and the social life and private life of the Soviet people.


Palace Folklore Show

Palace Folklore Show

  • Approximate Cost: $110 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • When: Evening show
There’s no better way to get acquainted with the soul of a people than through the arts, and you can learn about the rhythms of life here at a folklore show at Nikolaevsky Palace. Tap your toes to traditional songs, watch as skirts twirl wildly with centuries-old folk dances, and be wowed by ballet dancers, too. You’ll also feast like a tsar with canapés including caviar, vodka, champagne, and more.

DAY 5:

Marvel at Peterhof, the “Russian Versailles”

Travel a short distance outside of St. Petersburg this morning to visit Peterhof, a UNESCO site often called the "Russian Versailles." Peter the Great built the splendid palace and elaborate gardens on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. You’ll admire the spray of fountains set to music and a marvelous art collection, including a stunning room filled to the brim with historic portraits.

Enjoy lunch on your own before transferring to embark the ms Rostropovich. Cultural Connection: This afternoon, learn about the art of breaking bread served with salt, a traditional Slavic greeting.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 6:

Arts abound

Today you'll visit Peter and Paul Fortress back in the city, the original citadel of St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great in 1703. This small island is where prisoners were once housed, but today is far more majestic, with a glorious gilded spire and a beachfront that is a hot spot in the summertime.

Cultural Connection: Today, enjoy regional culinary specialties during lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon, you’ll visit the Hermitage Museum, which features over 3 million works of art collected by Empress Catherine the Great spread out over a complex of five massive buildings. Perhaps you’ll come back and visit in your spare time to see even more than what you’ll admire at this UNESCO site this afternoon.

In the evening after dinner, enjoy entertainment on board, with a daily schedule that varies but includes folk and classical music and talent shows.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

Marvelous Mandrogi

This afternoon takes you on an excursion to the village of Mandrogi, where you’ll visit a wooden home and a local handicrafts market, followed by a shashlik (Russian barbecue) lunch. Cultural Connections: Back on board, learn the art of painting matryoshka (nesting dolls), and about Russian life at an onboard lecture that also includes local handicrafts — available in the onboard gift shop — and enjoy a lively "Russian language for travelers" lesson.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

Lake Onega & Kizhi Island

After a leisurely breakfast on board, you’ll admire passing scenery of Lake Onega before arriving at Kizhi Island, whose church and the adjacent clock tower are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This open-air museum of wooden architecture is a true site to behold and you’ll admire fascinating examples of traditional wooden buildings collected from around Russia. Among the notable structures is the Church of the Transfiguration, an ornate structure with 22 domes, built entirely without nails.

Cultural Connection: This afternoon enjoy a lecture on the history and production of Russian vodka.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

Toast Goritsky discoveries

Cultural Connections: This morning you’ll learn more about Russian history, and Russian fairytales, during onboard lectures before arriving in Goritsky for a walking tour. Be enchanted by the tranquil village’s fascinating history as a former home to several monasteries. Cultural Connections: Visit a local school to learn about day-to-day life, and a local home. Resurrection Monastery awaits you next, and its storied history (founded by one of Ivan the Terrible’s daughters-in-law) is as fascinating as the architecture.

This afternoon back on board, try your hand at Russian specialties during a cooking lesson, followed by vodka and tea with a blini tasting. These traditional pancakes are usually made with buckwheat flour and garnished with sour cream, butter, or caviar.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

Life on the Volga

Away from the cities, Russia is a land of villages, fields, forests, and lakes, all threaded by rivers such as the mighty Volga, Europe's longest. Discover Uglich this afternoon, one of the motherland’s oldest cities that is part of the storied Golden Ring along the picturesque Volga. A favorite city of Ivan the Terrible, you’ll learn more about its fascinating history on a walking tour. Cultural Connections: Immerse yourself in tradition here when you visit a local home, where home-hosted tea and tasty pies await.

Later this evening, indulge in a Captain’s Farewell Dinner, with a talent show and onboard entertainment.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Marvelous Moscow

Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast on board your ship before a port talk on Russia’s capital. This afternoon you’ll visit Russia's symbol of might and majesty, the Kremlin, on a guided tour that includes the State Armory Chambers, the repository of the bejeweled Fabergé eggs.

Cultural Connection: Tonight’s dinner is in a local restaurant, where you’ll feast on regional specialties and get a real flavor for traditional culture.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 12:

Capital delights beckon

This morning, disembark for us to transport your luggage to your city-center hotel while you enjoy a convenient city tour including the KGB building, Kremlin Towers, and the Arbat, a massive pedestrian thoroughfare filled with many shops that put any Cold War-era memories of bare shelves, well, on the shelf! Plus, you'll have free time to explore iconic Red Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where colorful St. Basil's Cathedral and Lenin's Mausoleum beckons.

Cultural Connection: On today’s tour, you’ll also visit Moscow’s Metro, which serves as a sort of art gallery, a public-works remnant from the 1950s. Some stations even have massive chandeliers!

This afternoon, enjoy leisure time for further explorations and dinner on your own, or join us for an optional tour to the World War II Museum and Poklonnaya Hill, where you can enjoy a lovely panorama of the city.

This evening, you’ll admire even more views during an included Moscow by Night tour. You’ll witness New Maidens' Convent, Victory Hill, and have several photo stops including Red Square with its twinkling lights.

Included Meals:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: World War II Museum & Poklonnaya Hill

World War II Museum & Poklonnaya Hill

  • Approximate Cost: $54 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • When: Afternoon tour
Known to most Westerners as World War II, Russians call this the Great Patriotic War, and you’ll learn more about it from another vantage point at this fascinating museum featuring hundreds of exhibits like weapons, clothes, and wartime photographs. Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill includes a large ensemble of monuments commemorating Russian war triumphs, especially that over Napoleon. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, it was where the French general expected — in vain — that the keys to the Kremlin would be presented to him. Today the site includes a Holocaust memorial mosque, a church, tanks and machinery, and the country’s tallest obelisk.

DAY 13:

Immerse yourself in the arts

This morning, visit the Tretyakov Gallery — a fascinating introduction to Russian art and culture — with more than 100,000 works charting the development of Russian painting from the 10th to 20th centuries.

This afternoon you’ll have an afternoon at leisure or enhance your tour with an optional tour to Izmailovo. Your Farewell Dinner will be in the hotel this evening. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Izmailovo Vodka Museum & Vernissage

Izmailovo Vodka Museum & Vernissage

  • Approximate Cost: $109 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • When: Afternoon tour
Almost everyone is familiar with the “Kremlin,” but most don’t know that “Kremlin” is a rather ubiquitous term for fortified complex. The Vernissage and Vodka Museum, however, was built in 2007 as a cultural complex imitating Russian architecture from the 18th century. You’ll learn about it and the tradition of raising a glass of these traditional spirits with more than 500 varieties. Afterwards, visit Izmailovsky Kremlin, a flea market, to pick up some souvenirs; and Izmailovsky Vernisazh, an exhibition/fair filled with traditional folk handicrafts for admiring and purchase.

DAY 14:

Depart for home

This morning, check out of your hotel and depart for the airport for your flight home.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and are therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise Director or regional expert.

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Journey Imperial Russian Waterways: Moscow to St. Petersburg Imperial Waterways of Russia: Moscow to St. Petersburg  2-for-1 Cruise Prices & 2-for-1 Airfare! The BEST Value in River Cruising.
Cruise-Only Price* 13 Days from $5,099 12 Days from $5,999 The BEST pacing & Greatest value compared to our competitors. *Pricing is based on a May Departure
Per Diem $392 per day $500 per day Save up to $216 per couple per day - that's a total of $2,808 for 13 days.
Ship & Staterooms 7-nights in a spacious stateroom aboard the ms Rostropovich, an intimate cruising with no more than 212 passengers on board The River Victoria Intimate cruising with Deluxe cabins ranging from 165 to 186 sq. feet
Single Travelers Specially priced Single Occupancy Staterooms – very limited availability!  No special single offers The BEST value for single travelers – only Vantage offers specially priced single occupancy staterooms!
Included Tours 17 Included Tours & Cultural Connections No included tours Sightseeing in every port featuring the highlights of the destination at the best value 
Special Features Ride on Moscow's metro, enjoy a home hosted visit in Uglich. Listen to local entertainment on board along with A Blini cooking lesson as well as Russian language lessons, lectures on culture, vodka, fairytales and more!  Captain's welcome reception. Intimate look at daily life of the Russian province, open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture  The MOST Cultural Connections and special features for a more comprehensive experience in Russia! 
Meals 27 meals – including a Captain's Welcome & Farewell dinner No specified meals. Complimentary beverages onboard. Included meals per day, with complimentary beverages. 
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