The Russian rivers of the Volga, Svir, Neva and their connecting waterways mean that it’s possible to cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg and more. Following the river north from Moscow guests will witness rural landscape, hidden villages, monasteries and churches. The rivers pass through the very heart of Russia’s cities some ancient, some modern but all with grand architecture and wonderful places to explore. The majority of Russian river cruise ships are classed as 3 star hotel equivalent, there are however a small number of more luxurious vessels if 4 and 5 star accommodation is what you are looking for.
Russian River Cruises run from May until September, Russia is very cold during the winter and these ships are not built as icebreakers. If you choose a departure from late June onwards you will experience the land of the midnight sun as St Petersburg is far enough north for the sun to never properly set. If you choose a cruise departing in September it will be colder, but if you head out on one of the southern itineraries there is still a chance of some late summer sunshine and you will have the added enjoyment of witnessing the beginnings of the golden leaves of autumn.
The added benefit of a cruise in this area is that there will be an onboard guide telling you of the history, and taking you to places that would be very difficult to find if you were travelling alone. Passenger’s number around 250 or less and all ships will feature a restaurant, bar, shop, library, lounge and medical facility, some even have a hairdresser and cinema. Outside staterooms offer en-suite facilities with fridge, radio and air conditioning. The onboard entertainment also centres on traditional Russian and Ukrainian music and dancing and even includes tasting experiences including blinis caviar and champagne.
St Petersburg to Moscow Cruise
A typical St Petersburg to Moscow cruise lasting 11 days would include at least a day or two moored in the beautiful port of St Petersburg with highlights such as the Winter Palace, Royal Square and the Hermitage Museum; holding some of the worlds best art and sculpture. A popular excursion is a visit to the ballet or opera it promises to be a truly memorable evening. Other ports along the way include GORITSY with an opportunity to visit the homes of local farmers, KIZHI with it Transfiguration Church which has 22 domes and UGLICH home to the palace of Tsarevich. Finally your ship will moor in Moscow for three days where visits to the Kremlin, Red Square and the Moscow Circus are all included.
Moscow to Astrakhan Cruise
If you prefer to try something a little different try the river cruise south from Moscow to Astrakhan on the banks of the Caspian Sea. In addition to your stay in Moscow you will also visit Volgograd (former Stalingrad), famous for the battle that unfolded during the World War II, before spending the last few nights of your holiday in Astrakhan once the gateway between India and Persia.
River cruising in Russia is a good way of seeing more of the country than other holidays to the area could offer, taking you into the heart of the cities and towns in comfort.