Rivers of Russia 2021

11 Days: Moscow, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritzy, Kizhi, Mandrogi and St. Petersburg

Highlights:

  • Russian themed dinner & concerts on board
  • On board activities such as Russian language lessons and lectures
  • Afternoon in board activities includes Vodka & Blini (pancake) tasting party
  • Authentic Russian BBQ accompanied with entertainment
  • Welcome & Captain’s farewell dinner with live entertainment and drinks

10 Sightseeing Tours Included:

  • MOSCOW: Panoramic city tour by motor coach & inside tour of the Kremlin with one internal Cathedral visit
  • UGLICH: Walking tour, inside visit to Church of St. Demetrius
  • YAROSLAVL: City Tour, Governor’s Art Gallery, Church of Elijah the Prophet
  • GORITZY: Visit Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake
  • KIZHI: Walking tour of the village and Transfiguration Cathedral
  • MANDROGI: Walking tour, Authentic BBQ lunch (weather permitting)
  • ST. PETERSBURG: Panoramic City tour by motor coach includes inside visit of Peter and Paul Fortress & tour of the fascinating Hermitage Museum

Included Features:

  • Arrival & departure transfers on days of embarkation/disembarkation*
    *(if air purchased through us)
  • Accommodations for 10 nights in river-view cabin category of your choice
  • A total of 29 meals – (10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners)
  • 1 free bottle of water per person replenished in your cabin, daily
  • Live music performed each evening + folk concert performed by our on board musicians
  • Water/tea/coffee with all meals
  • One shot of vodka or a glass of white/red wine or juice each evening for dinner
  • Early risers breakfast with coffee/tea/cookies
  • Self-serve coffee station from 10 am to 19:00 daily
  • Various Russian themed on board activities as outlined in the itinerary
  • English speaking Cruise Manager + local guides throughout
  • Audio units included on all tours and excursions
  • New and enhanced safety protocols applied to all sailings 

Not Included:

  • Port fees and cruise fuel surcharges (listed separately in Pricing & Departures)
  • Transfers if purchasing Cruise Only (must be arranged and paid for in advance)
  • Any travel and document fees including Visa requirements
  • Costs of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone, liquor, souvenirs, etc.
  • Tips to Crew, Cruise Directors, local guides and other staff along the route
    (Suggested Tipping amounts will be advised)
  • Any increases in costs due to unforeseen circumstances such as; additional fuel surcharges, exchange rates or Government imposed taxes and fees not known at this time.

Click here to see our full terms and conditions.

Day 00 FLY to Russia

Depart on your overnight flights to Russia (with connecting flights in Europe depending on airline used).

In-flight meals and beverage services are provided as per individual airline policy.

Day 01 Arrive in Moscow Embarkation after 3 pm   (D)

Upon your arrival to Moscow, please proceed through customs. In the arrival hall you will be met by one of our cruise directors and transferred to the port for embarkation. An information meeting will be held prior to dinner. Afterwards, enjoy your first night aboard your floating hotel with live music in the Music Lounge.

Cruise only passengers with transfers on their own – services begin with embarkation.

Day 02 Moscow   (B, L, D)

Moscow, the capital of Russia, is situated between the banks of the rivers Oka and Volga. A metropolis of 18+ million people, Moscow today is not only the seat of the Russian government but also home to many world renowned attractions.

  • Full day tour: Begin your introduction to Moscow with a motorcoach tour that will highlight many of the cities famous attractions including the humongous Red Square, famous St. Basil’s Cathedral and other sites. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue your tour with an inside visit to the Kremlin, where you will see the Palace of Congresses, the renowned Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell and have an inside tour of one of the 3 cathedrals; the Assumption, the Archangel or the Annunciation Cathedral. Return to the ship for dinner. For those with additional energy we recommend the optional Moscow by Night & Metro tour.
  • Optionals:  Armory Museum (must be pre-purchased with program – extension of the Kremlin tour)

Day 03 Moscow SET SAIL 17:30 PM   (B, L, D)

  • After breakfast abroad, the balance of the day is free to explore the city of Moscow on your own or join one of the multiple optional excursions available for purchase on board, including. Sergiev Posad Complex: considered the heart of the Russian Orthodox Church, a visit to the Tratyakov Gallery or Cosmonautics Museums, or a transfer to the famous pedestrian area of Arbat Street.
  • Return to the ship for a late lunch. Wave goodbye to Moscow and then enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and crew introduction prior to dinner. * Sailing time subject to change.

Day 04 Uglich   (B, L, D)

AM: Morning at sail. Enjoy the passing vistas, or participate in one of the on board activities including Russian language lessons, lecture on traditional Russian crafts and souvenirs and similar. Lunch on board.

PM: Walking tour of Uglich: Visit Russia’s second oldest city (only one year younger than Moscow).

The city is famous for the more troubled and violent side of Russian history.  It was here that the Russian crown prince Dimitri was assassinated, which eventually led to Boris Godunov ascending the Russian throne.  Here on the banks of the Volga, you can also find a rich collection of Russian Orthodox architecture which you will get to see, as well as the Church of St. Demetrius of the Blood and the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry. Tonight after dinner, enjoy a musical performance in the Music Hall!

  • Optionals: Workshop: “Create Handmade Russian Souvenirs”

Day 05 Yaroslavl   (B, L, D)

Founded by Yaroslav the Wise in the 11th century, the city also ranks as one of the oldest in Russia. Its primary attractions are around the main square which has the Governor’s Palace as its centerpiece. Your city tour will include an interactive tour of the Governor’s House Art Gallery and the Church of Elijah the Prophet. Back on board for lunch and slew of fun activities planned for the afternoon, including a Russian Tea Ceremony and Russian song lessons. Tonight, for those interested, there will be a documentary about the History of Russia.

Day 06 Goritzy   (B, L, D)

This morning, stop at a typical small Russian village along the Volga.  Here you can enjoy a leisurely walk through this authentic village and visit the beautiful Monastery of St.Cyril on White Lake. The afternoon on board activities will include a Vodka & Blini (Pancake) tasting party, a Russian themed dinner and a folk concert performed by our on board entertainers.

  • Optionals: Master Class of painting traditional Russian dolls “Matryoshka”

Day 07 Kizhi   (B, L, D)

AM: Enjoy views of the beautiful and unspoiled scenery and participate in one of the many on board activities including Russian language lessons, Russian dances, Russian fairy tales and similar. Lunch on board.

PM: Take a leisurely walking tour of this fairy tale island, situated in the northern part of Lake Onega.  Kizhi is unique as the site of an outdoor museum which represents the picturesque rural wooden architecture of the region.  Its most famous landmark, the Church of Transfiguration with its 22 cupolas, is an outstanding masterpiece of wooden architecture. Not only is it constructed without a single nail or piece of iron, but the only tools that were used for its construction were chisels and axes.  Legend says that Master Nester, who built the church, threw away his tools when the work was finished saying, “This church was built by Master Nester.  There is no church like this in the world and there will never be one again!”

Day 08 Mandrogi   (B, BBQ L, D)

After breakfast, explore on foot, this replica of an authentic 19th century Russian Village, while our crew prepares a unique riverside BBQ lunch in the village setting! The Russian shashlik barbecue will be accompanied with entertainment by our on-board musicians (In case of unforeseeable bad weather, the lunch will be served on board). Be sure to visit the unique Vodka Museum featuring over 2500 varieties of Russia’s national drink. Tonight, prepare for our Farewell Captain’s Gala Dinner followed by our hilarious Talent show where participation by crew and passengers are both encouraged and welcome!

Day 09 St. Petersburg   (B, L, D)

This morning, arrive to St. Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Located on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, in the delta of the river Neva, there are 65 rivers and canals flowing through St. Petersburg, as well as 42 islands.  Peter the Great founded the city in 1703 and from 1712 until 1918 it was the capital of the Russian Empire.  With its eight million+ inhabitants, it is the second largest city in Russia  and because of its many canals, bridges and architectural beauty, St. Petersburg is often referred to as the “Venice of the North”.

AM: City sightseeing tour by coach: Get to know this truly magnificent city during your morning city tour which will guide you past Nevsky Prospect, St Isaac’s Cathedral, Kazan’s Assembly Church, the Admiralty Building, Palace Square with the residence of Russian Tzars known as the “Winter Palace,”  the “Bronze Horseman” monument to Peter the Great, Smolny Monastery and the multiple fascinating bridges over the river Neva which are raised every night in order to enable the passage of ships sailing to the Baltics. An inside tour of Peter and Paul Fortress, burial site of Russian Tzars, will end the tour on a high note. After lunch back on board, the afternoon is free to explore on your own or partake in one of the optional tours.

PM: Optional Peterhof Palace Gardens Tour*: Fall in love with the gardens of Peter the Great’s summer palace, built to rival Versailles and renowned for its famous fountains powered only by the force of gravity.

Day 10 St. Petersburg   (B, L, D)

Begin the day with breakfast onboard before departing for a Tour of the world famous Hermitage MuseumLocated within the 1000+ room Winter Palace, it boasts of over 3 million artifacts spread out of 365 rooms! Featuring an amazing collection of art dating from the early Greek to modern times, it is also home to some of the greatest original works by de Vinci, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Picasso. Afternoon is free for individual exploration or optional tours such as;

  • Optional Russian MuseumGet the full history of Russia and its past-times when taking this informative tour to the Russian Museum within St. Petersburg.
  • Optional Canal CruiseExperience cruising the magnificent canals through the city center marvelling at the splendor of the cities monuments.
  • Optional Cathedral Walking TourTake an in-depth walking tour inside two of St. Petersburg’s most famous cathedrals: Saint Isaac’s Cathedral & the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Day 11 St. Petersburg – Home Disembark 09:00 am   (B)

Bid your crew and fellow passengers goodbye as you disembark and transfer to the airport for your flights home.

Cruise only passengers who have not purchased transfers through us – services end with breakfast.

Day 00 FLY to Russia

Depart on your overnight flights to Russia (with connecting flights in Europe depending on airline used).

In-flight meals and beverage services are provided as per individual airline policy.

Day 01 St. Petersburg EMBARKATION after 3 pm   (D)

Welcome to St. Petersburg!

Upon your arrival to St. Petersburg, please proceed through customs. In the arrival hall you will be met by one of our cruise directors and transferred to the port for embarkation. An information meeting will be held prior to dinner. Afterwards, enjoy your first night aboard your floating hotel.

Cruise only passengers with transfers on their own – services begin with embarkation.

Day 02 St. Petersburg   (B, L, D)

This city, one of the most beautiful in the world, is located on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, in the delta of the river Neva.  There are 65 rivers and canals flowing through St. Petersburg, as well as 42 islands.  Peter the Great founded the city in 1703 and from 1712 until 1918 it was the capital of the Russian Empire.  With its 8+ million inhabitants, it is the second largest city in Russia  and because of its many canals, bridges and architectural beauty, St. Petersburg is often referred to as the “Venice of the North”. Your full day tour will include;

  • Tour of the Hermitage: one of the greatest museums of the world! Located within the 1000+ room Winter Palace, the Hermitage boasts of over 3 million artifacts spread out of 365 rooms and featuring an amazing collection of art dating from the early Greek to modern times! Pay special note to originals by de Vinci, Van Gogh, Gauguin and PicassoLunch will be at a local city restaurant.
  • City sightseeing tour by coach: After lunch, get to know this truly magnificent city during your motorcoach city tour which will guide you past Nevsky Prospect, St Isaac’s Cathedral, Kazan’s Assembly Church, the Admiralty Building, Palace Square with the residence of Russian czars known as the “Winter Palace”., the “Bronze Horseman” monument to Peter the Great, Smolny Monastery, the cruiser Aurora, and the fascinating bridges over the river Neva which are raised every night in order to enable the passage of ships sailing to the Baltics. An inside tour of Peter and Paul Fortress, burial site of Russian Tzars will end the tour on a high note.
  • Optional Canal CruiseExperience cruising the magnificent canals through the city center marvelling at the splendor of the cities monuments.

Day 03 St. Petersburg Set Sail 17:00 pm   (B, L, D)

Today is a full free day to explore the sights and sounds of St Petersburg on your own, or to take advantage of one of our optional tours offered by our cruise managers.

  • Optional Palace Tour: Start with a drive to Pushkin, the former village of the Russian royalty,  where you will tour the impressive Catherine’s Palace including the fabulous Amber Room. Then proceed by bus to Peterhof, Peter the Great’s Summer Palace to see the enchanting gardens of Peterhof, with magnificent view of the Baltic Sea and and its famous fountains powered only by the force of gravity.
    (Note: Palace Tour MUST be pre-purchased)
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail: Enjoy a drink on the sun deck (weather permitting) as we set sail on the wonderful Neva River and get aquainted with your Captain & Crew prior to dinner.

Day 04 Mandrogi   (B, BBQ L, D)

Explore this authentic replica of a 19 century Russian Village, showcasing artisans at work and featuring the unique Vodka Museum with over 2500 varieties of Russia’s national drink!  Afterwards instead of lunch on board, you will enjoy a unique picnic lunch riverside*! The Russian shashlik (kebob) barbecue will be accompanied with entertainment provided by our on-board musicians. (In case of unforeseeable bad weather, the lunch will be served on board).  On board activities will include language lessons and a musical performance.

Day 05 Kizhi   (B, L, D)

A leisurely walking tour of this fairy tale island, Kizhi is unique as the site of an outdoor museum which represents the picturesque rural wooden architecture of the region.  Its most famous landmark, the Church of Transfiguration with its 22 cupolas, is an outstanding masterpiece of wooden architecture. Not only is it constructed without a single nail or piece of iron, but the only tools that were used for its construction were chisels and axes.  Legend says that Master Nester, who built the church, threw away his tools when the work was finished saying, “This church was built by Master Nester.  There is no church like this in the world and there will never be one again!”. Today’s on board activities will include Russian language lessons, Russian songs and a “Russian Tea Ceremony”. Optionals: Master Class of Painting Russian doll “Matryoshka”

Day 06 Goritzy   (B, L, D)

This morning, stop at a typical small Russian village where you can enjoy a leisurely walk through this authentic town, meet the locals and visit the beautiful Monastery of St.Cyril on White Lake. This afternoon enjoy a Vodka & Blini (Pancake) tasting party. Afterwards, it’s time to dress up and practice saying “Aaarrrggghhh” for the festive Pirate Dinner that will close out the evening with a “Yo Ho Ho” Pirate Show.

Day 07 Yaroslavl   (B, L, D)

AM: On board activities will include a documentary on the History of Russia as well as Russian song classes.

PM: Founded by Yaroslav the Wise in the 11th century, the city also ranks as one of the oldest in Russia. Your city tour will include an interactive tour of the Governor’s House Art Gallery and the Church of Elijah the Prophet. Tonight delight in a Russian themed dinner followed by a Russian folk concert.

Day 08 Uglich   (B, L, D)

The city is famous for the more troubled and violent side of Russian history.  It was here that the Russian crown prince Dimitri was assassinated, which eventually led to Boris Godunov ascending the Russian throne.  Here on the banks of the Volga, you can also find a rich collection of Russian Orthodox architecture which you will get to see, as well as the Church of St. Demetrius of the Blood and the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry. The afternoon’s activities will include Russian language lessons, Russian song class and tonight, the Captain’s Farewell Gala Dinner followed by our raucous Talent show where everyone’s participation is encouraged!

Day 9 Moscow   (B, L, D)

AM: As you approach Russia’s capital city your on board activities may include a round table where your Cruise Directors and selected staff will be happy to answer any and all questions about modern Russia today..

PM: A metropolis of 18+ million people, Moscow today is not only the seat of the Russian government but also home to many world renowned attractions! Upon arrival you will be taken on an afternoon sightseeing tour and receive a genuine introduction to this exciting city by visiting Moscow’s major sights such as the humongous Red Square, famous St. Basil’s Cathedral and the intimidating KGB Building.

  • Optional Moscow At Night Tour: Ride the famous Moscow metro to the city center where you will experience the grandeur of Moscow’s central attractions under full illumination. Breathtaking!

Day 10 Moscow   (B, L, D)

After breakfast, it is time to take a tour of the famous Kremlin Fortress! Here you will get an inside look at the Palace of Congresses, its fascinating Cathedrals, as well as the gargantuan Tzar Cannon and the giant Tzar Bell. The balance of the day is free to explore some more on your own or to join one of the optional excursions offered by our cruise managers.

  • Optional Armory Museum Tour: Visit the world renowned depository of Royal Russian riches including samples of weapons, carriages, thrones and the famous Faberge eggs. (Must be pre-purchased)
  • Optional Tour of the New Maidens’ Convent: Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site that has retained its original 17th century structures and appeal, making it one of the most famous convents in the world.
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Day 11 Moscow – Home Disembarkation: 09:00 am   (B)

Bid your crew and fellow passengers goodbye as you disembark and transfer to the airport for your flights home.

Cruise only passengers who have not purchased transfers through us – services end with breakfast

Moscow

Novodevichy (New Maidens) Convent & Cemtery - 65 Euro pp

The Novodevichy (or New Maiden) Convent is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Russia. Founded by Tsar Vasily III in 1524, the Convent marked winning the city of Smolensk back from the Lithuanians in 1514. The new convent was consecrated in honor of the Mother of God Hodigidria which according to a legend was painted by St. Luke himself.

In 1898–1904, the so-called Novodevichy Cemetery was established outside the south wall. Anton Chekhov was one of the first notables to be interred at the new cemetery, and Nikolai Gogol was later reburied there too. During the Soviet epoch, it was turned into the most high-profile cemetery in the Soviet Union, with the likes of Nikita Khrushchev, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Konstantin Stanislavski, Boris Yeltsin, and Mstislav Rostropovich being interred there.

Kremlin Armory Museum - 66 Euro pp

Operated in conjunction to the tour of the Kremlin Grounds,the Armory Museum dates back to 1511 and features a unique compilation of art & artifacts of the Russian Czars from the 12th-19th centuries. Here, you will find Russian arms and armor, the state regalia, thrones, carriages, ornate coronation dresses and the largest collection of the world-famous Fabergé eggs! Marvel at Grand Siberian Railway egg, with its gold train, platinum locomotive and ruby headlamp, 1 of 50 unique eggs crafted by Carl Faberge to commemorate the Moscow–Vladivostok line.

Moscow at Night + Metro - 55 Euro pp

Late night tour by bus. Discover the beautiful lights and unique atmosphere of Moscow at night. Your first stop will be in the city center where you will enjoy a short ride on the Metro and see the magnificent art at 2 to 3 of the main stations.  Then, you will continue by bus to view illuminated skyscrapers, bridges that cross the Moscow River, and the fabulous St. Basils Onion Domes from the open-air observation platform on top of Sparrow Hill, which are truly stupendous!

Tretyakov Gallery Tour - 59 Euro pp

Founded in 1856 by influential merchant and collector Pavel Tretyakov and presented as a gift to the city in 1892, it is the world’s number one museum of Russian art. Ranging from exquisite and mysterious 12th century icons to the politically charged and prescient canvases of Russia’s favorite realist master, Ilya Repin, the collection is a rich and revealing insight into the history and attitudes of this long suffering yet inspired people.

On Board Ship

Master Class of painting traditional Russian dolls (Matryoshka Doll) - TBA

Usually our guests presume that matryoska is an ancient Russian toy – it’s not true! The Matroyshka appeared in Russia at the very end of the 19thcentury and has Japanese origin. The prototype of the matryoska was the figure of a Japanese monk which had several smaller monks inside it. Russian artists from Mamontov’s workshop made a similar toy in the Russian style, where representations of girls followed figures of boys. Later on they started to make girls only. The name matroyshka comes from a Russian village-style female name Matryona which was very popular at that time.

During the master class you will get a set of blank matryoshka dolls consisting of three or five pieces and the craftsmen will explain how to paint them and will help you to start. Usually by the end of the master class participants have one piece finished and they can take the rest with them and practice doing it at home. But as always everything depends on you – some of our guests managed to finish all three or even five dolls*.  The master class usually takes about an hour.

St. Petersburg

Peterhof Palace Gardens - 65 Euro pp

Whether you’re a classical music enthusiast or not, make this part of your Vienna experience! Enjoy this spectacular classical concert at the Kursalon Wien, an exclusive and splendid building of the 19th century, built in Italian Renaissance style. In the very place where Johann Strauss himself used to direct his orchestra from the position of first violin and enjoyed the essence of Vienna’s classical music. The Salonorchester Alt Wien, one of the best‐known interpreters of classical Viennese music, presents an evening full of Viennese charm with waltzes, polkas, arias and duets, as well as operetta and piano concerto melodies. Accompanied by excellent opera vocalists and our enchanting ballet soloists.

Catherine's Palace with Amber Room & Peterhof Gardens* (Full Day) - 110 Euro pp

Travel to Pushkino to visit Catherine’s Palace, summer residence of the Russian imperial family. In 1710 Peter I presented these lands to his second wife Catherine I. Explore the palace and the surrounding park and learn of the long history behind this beautiful site. Tour 7 of the main halls and rooms including the amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors in the famous Amber Room, reconstructed after WWII. Return to the city for lunch at a local restaurant and continue to Peter the Great’s Summer Palace to tour the miraculous gardens.

IMPORTANT NOTE: *Combo Palace tour is available ONLY on downstream sailings  St. Pete to Moscow and MUST  be pre-purchased to guarantee access to Catherine’s Palace. Minimum 25 passengers required to operate!

Rivers and Canals Cruise - 44 Euro pp

Built on 42 islands, and connected by 70 rivers and canals and over 400 bridges, St. Petersburg rightfully deserves the nickname “Venice of the North”. Sit back and relax while your small boat sails silently through the central part of the city where you will have a different perspective of the cities marvelous architecture as you glide by the Church on the Blood, the Hermitage, the Onion domes and Imperial palaces, their imposing beauty reflected in the water.

Cossack Folklore Show - 66 Euro pp

This high octane performance focuses on the history and culture of the mighty Cossack warriors, once the defenders of the far flung southern borders of Russia. Renowned for their temperament, fearlessness and horsemanship, the program features over 30 artists performing songs and dances including the famous, acrobatic knee-bending “hopak”!

Ballet at local Theater Houses - from 150 to 160 Euro pp

Everyone knows that Russia is home to some of the best ballet troupes (Mariinsky, Bolshoi) and ballet dancers in the world. While the top tier dancers are travelling the world, for the benefit of tourists and visitors, special ballet performances are arranged during the summer months. These are usually the most popular ballet’s such as Swan Lake, Giselle or similar and are held at various theaters throughout the city including some shown at the exclusive 250 seat Hermitage Theater located inside the Winter Palace. Depending on type of ballet and location the price per person may vary. The choice of program and cost will be confirmed once you board your ship. While the ensembles may not consist of the top tier superstars, the quality of the performances is usually considered top notch, and since they are being performed by younger upcoming talent – you never know – you may be watching a future star in the making!

DISCLAIMER: All optional excursions are shown for information and planning purposes. They are subject to change do to holidays, attraction black-out dates or other reasons. Some, if not all optional excursions may require a minimum number of participants to operate. Prices are quoted in Euros. Final list of availability and costs will be confirmed upon arrival to your vessels at the initial information meeting.

 

M/S Moonlight Sonata

This first class vessel received a face lift in 2019 with renovated public areas and Brand new Balcony cabins (Junior Suites and 5 singles) gracing the Upper Deck! In 2020 the renovations will continue with 20 middle deck twin cabins getting a full overhaul including new furniture, bedding, and new tiled bathrooms with showers. But most importantly building on its name, the Moonlight Sonata will offer an artistic flair and excellent on board ambiance highlighted by an intensive cultural immersion into everything Russian, including lectures, dance lessons and evening shows performed in the ships theater! A young and vivacious crew will be complemented by our own superb English speaking Cruise Directors and English speaking local guides throughout! Non-smoking interiors – on board currency the Russian Ruble and the € Euro (for purchasing optional activities)

Built in Germany in 1990, the ship has been regularly maintained and is currently undergoing new renovations. With a maximum capacity of 248 passengers serviced by a crew of 106, the Moonlight Sonata features 2 restaurants with 1 seating for all, 2 bars, and a theater for live concerts and entertainment. A total of 29 meals consisting of full buffet breakfast, sit down 3 course lunches with a choice of main courses and 4 course dinners accompanied with a free glass of wine, shot of vodka are included. A small bottle of water per person will be replenished each evening in cabins and a free self-service coffee station will be available for 6 am to 7 pm daily. A welcome drink, a Russian Tea Ceremony, Blini and Caviar tasting and a 5 course Captain’s dinner are just some of the services that will be included along with a total of 8 shore excursions that will give you a glimpse of authentic Russia from past to present. Nazdrovye!

Cabins

Category A: Upper Boat Deck, Grand Suite with Balcony, 27 m2 (290 sq ft) 

  • Located on the Upper Boat Deck
  • Outdoor balcony with table and seating
  • Private relaxing lounge area with spacious seating
  • Private kitchenette
  • Available storage space
  • Private bathroom with glass-enclosed shower
  • Choice of bath amenities with towels and hair dryer
  • Hotel-style beds, set as double as default can covert to two single beds
  • Vanity desk and chair
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating system
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • Internal telephone
  • PIN-coded safe

Category A: Upper Boat Deck, Junior Suite with Balcony, 18 m2 (193 sq ft) 

  • Located on the Upper Boat Deck
  • Outdoor balcony with table and seating
  • Spacious cabin with double sofa
  • Available storage space
  • Private bathroom with glass-enclosed shower
  • Choice of bath amenities with towels and hair dryer
  • Hotel-style beds, set as double as default can covert to two single beds
  • Vanity desk and chair
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating system
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • Internal telephone
  • PIN-coded safe

Category A: Upper Boat Deck, Deluxe Twin, 14 m2 (150 sq ft) 

  • Located on the Upper Boat Deck
  • Available storage space
  • Private bathroom with glass-enclosed shower
  • Choice of bath amenities with towels and hair dryer
  • Hotel-style beds, set as double as default can covert to two single beds
  • Vanity desk and chair with extra seating
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating system
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • Internal telephone
  • PIN-coded safe

Category A: Upper Boat Deck, Single with Balcony, 18 m2 (193 sq ft) 

  • Located on the Upper Boat Deck
  • Outdoor balcony with table and seating
  • Single bed cabin
  • Available storage space
  • Private bathroom with choice of bath amenities, towels, and hair dryer
  • Vanity desk and chair
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating system
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • Internal telephone
  • PIN-coded safe

Category B: Middle Deck, Premium Twin 10 m2 (107 sq ft)

  • Located on the Middle Deck
  • Premium Twin cabins were newly renovated in 2020 with new and modern style furniture and lighting
  • Available storage space
  • Private bathroom with choice of bath amenities with towels and hair dryer
  • Hotel-style twin beds
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating system
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • Internal telephone
  • PIN-coded safe

Category B, C, & E: Middle/Main Deck, Standard Twin 10 m2 (107 sq ft)

  • Located on the Middle Deck and Main Deck
  • Available storage space
  • Private bathroom with choice of bath amenities with towels and hair dryer
  • Hotel-style twin beds
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating system
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • Internal telephone
  • PIN-coded safe

Category B: Middle Deck, Standard Single 9.5 m2 (102 sq ft)

  • Located on the Middle Deck
  • Single bed cabin
  • Available storage space
  • Private bathroom with choice of bath amenities, towels, and hair dryer
  • Vanity desk and chair
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating system
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • Internal telephone
  • PIN-coded safe

Category E: Lower Deck, Standard Twin/Triple/Quad 13 m2 (139 sq ft)

  • Located on the Lower Deck
  • Can accommodate up to 4 passengers
  • Furnished with two lower beds and two upper foldaway beds
  • Available storage space
  • Private bathroom with choice of bath amenities with towels and hair dryer
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating system
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • Internal telephone
  • PIN-coded safe

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FAQ's

Will I need a visa to travel to Russia?

Yes, US citizens need visas for traveling to Russia. So before leaving home, please ensure that you have your valid PASSPORT and appropriate VISA. Please make sure your US passport has a validity of at least 6 months beyond your scheduled travel dates and check for visa updates with the U.S. or the appropriate foreign consulates at least 90 days prior to your departure. If you are a foreign national – please check with your country’s consulate, as rules may be different. ***Remember: obtaining a visa and proper travel documents are YOUR responsibility!***

What do I need to obtain a visa?

While travel documents are the passenger’s responsibility, you will need an invitation letter in order to obtain a visa. An invitation letter will be provided through us, free of charge, upon receipt of final payment. This will then be sent to you along with your final documents 90 days prior to your departure.

Are transfers included?

If you have purchased your air tickets through us, your transfers will be included. However, transfers are still available for those who would like to arrange their own airfare, for a fee. Transfers may vary between $65-$130 per person per transfer, depending on the location from where you will be picked up.

Which ship will be used for the 2021 Russian Rivers cruises?

The Moonlight Sonata is a first class ship renovated in 2019 with brand new public areas including 2 restaurants, 2 bars, and a theater for live concerts and entertainment. The Moonlight Sonata will offer an artistic flair and excellent on board ambiance highlighted by an intensive cultural immersion into everything Russian, including lectures, dance lessons and evening shows performed in the ships theater! All brand new balcony cabins (Junior Suites and 5 singles) gracing the Upper Deck, and 20 middle deck twin cabins with brand new furniture, bedding, and new tiled bathrooms with showers. A vivacious crew of 106 serves a maximum capacity of 248 passengers along with an English speaking Cruise Director and wonderful English speaking Cruise guides. Non-smoking interiors – on board currency the Russian Ruble and the € Euro (for purchasing optional activities).

Will I be able to make phone calls and check emails while aboard the ship?

Yes. If bringing your US cell phone, please make sure it is “unlocked” by your US provider in order to use it. Free Wi-Fi is available when in major ports and can be accessed through your own laptop or in Wi-Fi corners which are located in public areas onboard.

What is the currency used in Russia?

The currency is the RUSSIAN RUBLE. At the time of this printing, $1 was worth around 65 rubles. These values may change daily – so check your local newspaper or the internet a few days before departure. Euros and US dollars are accepted, however, you will receive your change in rubles.

What methods of payment are accepted on board and on shore?

While on board the ship, all costs are quoted in rubles. Direct payments are accepted in cash (rubles) or signed to your cabin and paid at the end of the navigation by cash or credit card. Bank fees may apply! Check on arrival! Due to strict foreign currency laws, here are important notes regarding on shore expenses: Cash: is accepted and preferred. Euros & USD will be exchanged for rubles.
Credit Cards: are accepted, VISA OR MASTERCARD ONLY! (Limited use outside of urban areas.)

*Credit Card Note: As of May 2015, European/Russian credit card processors require credit cards with chips and a 4-digit PIN code. Your USA magnetic strip cards may NOT work at local ATM’s requiring a PIN. Ask your bank for a chip card and/or bring along a debit card with your PIN (or enough cash to cover your expenses!)

What if I run out of cash? Will I be able to withdraw money at any point along the trip?

For passengers with Traveler Checks and/or foreign cash that needs to be converted to rubles, we do make stops at major city banks and exchange offices in order to enable you to change money on arrival and along the way. Please note that paper bills need to be NEW or at least in good condition (not written on, tattered or overly wrinkled) or Russian banks may reject exchanging them.

I’m super excited for all the tours! But will I have any free time during the program?

Most definitely! We do our best to ensure that each of our programs offer a healthy balance of cultural immersion through our included tours and free time for our passengers. You will have plenty of free time to shop for souvenirs, explore on your own, or take one of the optional tours (when provided.)

Are optional tours offered in this program?

Yes, a number of optional activities will be offered for sale (ballet performances, additional tours, etc.) during your cruise. These optional services are priced in Euros. Because of the need to prepay extra buses, guides and entrance fees at the last minute depending on passenger interest – ALL OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS CAN BE PAID IN CASH with Euros or US dollars at the current exchange rates OR WITH CREDIT CARDS – VISA or MasterCard ONLY!

How does tipping work in Russia? Is it accepted and/or required?

For the majority of the people working in the service industries (hotels, ships, restaurants, travel), tips and gratuities have become large sources of their income. Therefore, your gracious generosity will be appreciated throughout your trip. However, tips in the “East” are still left to your discretion. Therefore, no service – no tip! We generally recommend that each person set aside $250 to cover all tipping needs for the total duration of the program – but this is merely a suggested amount. You may leave as little or as much as you feel comfortable with. If you endear yourself to any particular crew member and wish to award them directly – please feel free to do so! For more information about tipping, including Individual vs. Pooled Tipping, please take a look at our detailed Travel Tips For Russia.

What if I have special dietary needs or food allergies?

Due to an economy still in transition, food variety and provisioning may not be as varied as we are accustomed to in the West. Vegetarian diets are limited to the vegetables at hand. Salt-free, sugar-free or fat-free meals are a novelty. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or similar are not available. Although we and the restaurant staff will make every effort to arrange for special meals, if you have strict dietary needs, you may want to bring some non-perishable snacks, crackers, dried fruits, dietary sweeteners, or other items that will compliment the limited variety of special meals. In any case, please be sure to notify us of any special requests at least 90 days prior to your departure so that we may do our best to accommodate your needs.

Anything else I should make sure to pack?

For a complete list of suggested items to bring, please read our detailed Travel Tips For Russia. But here are a few important items that often get overlooked!
Electrical current in hotels and on the ship is 220 volts/50MHZ. In order to use appliances, including shavers, hair-dryers, chargers for movie cameras, etc., you will need to bring:
1) Universal Transformer: to convert from US 110 Volts to 220. (Note: recent electronic equipment such as laptops and cameras MAY automatically convert. Please check your individual item.)
2) Universal Adapter Plugs: Round pins for sockets that are different than at home. Since there are no supplies of converters/ adapters, we recommend you purchase a transformer/ adapter plug set at any electronics or appliance store before you leave. PLEASE DO NOT FORGET: Medications which are vital to your health. A letter should accompany these from your doctor (signed and dated), certifying that such medications are vital to your health. Dosage should be indicated. Always pack any personal medications in your carry-on luggage, not in your checked baggage. Additionally, those passengers with lighter physical disabilities must report them to us at the time of booking.