The Volga River is considered as Russia’s national river. More than that, it’s officially Europe’s largest river. In fact, eleven of Russia’s largest cities are located at the drainage basin of the Volga River. This fact proves that the river is indeed massive in size.
But it’s also massive in touristy potential. Because of its length, cruises on the Volga River go through a number of cities, including major tourist destinations such as:
- St. Petersburg
One major difference of Volga River cruises is the fact that their travel itineraries often involves days worth of onshore travel. This is because of the size of Russia; in order to explore the key cities, travelers need to depart the site to do an on-land exploration. Most Volga River cruise packages, of course, include hotel accommodations and transportation (those who want to do their own Russian tour are allowed to do so).
Needless to say, a Russian tour through a Volga River cruise is not complete without seeing St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Hermitage museum, and a tour in a town called Volgograd. This town is known for being the site of one of World War II’s most brutal battles.
Other common tourist spots explored in a Volga River Cruise include:
- The GUM department store
- The Cathedral of Christ the Savior
- Kizhi Island
- The town of Kostroma
Expect to spend a lot of time in a Volga River cruise—the scope of this vacation will require time and commit from you. Usual cruise duration lasts from 14 to 16 days.
Of course, you have a choice as to what type of vacation you will have in a Volga River cruise. Again, the onshore tour can involve a lot of traveling. Therefore, if you prefer a cruise that’s more relaxing than travel-intensive, choose one that’s ship-based so you can enjoy the amenities of the ship while enjoying the amazing sites and beauty of the Volga River and the Russian territory.
Most Volga River trips start off from Moscow (so those from other countries will need to take a plane flight to Russia; the plane fare isn’t including in the Volga River package). A number of Volga River cruises take the Moscow-Uglich-Yaroslvl route with St. Petersburg as the last cruise destination. Of course, the details of the route vary from cruise to cruise, although majority do start with Moscow and end with St. Petersburg.