IMPERIAL RUSSIAN WATERWAYS
Cruising from Moscow to St. Petersburg
Aboard the M/S IVAN BUNIN
12 DAYS/10 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Explore the great cities of the Czars, magical Golden Ring towns, and delightful Russian countryside as you cruise the Russian Waterways from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Admire the domes of Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral and the treasures of the medieval Kremlin. Take in the majesty of czarist Russia at St. Petersburg‘s Alexander Column and Winter Palace. Discover the magical Golden Ring cities, their fortified monasteries, golden-domed cathedrals, and the “living museums” that are the heart of ancient Russia. The combination of history and art, together with an insight into the modern Russia of today, makes for an in-depth and all-encompassing trip. Join us on this once in a lifetime cruise!

THE M/S IVAN BUNIN
The M/S Ivan Bunin is an elegant vessel offering comfortable and well-appointed cabins and spacious public areas including three bars and a lounge where you can delight in panoramic views and watch the world sail by, or enjoy a beverage and catch up with newfound friends. There is also a large Sun Deck which is a perfect place to observe the bucolic Volga River scenery. The M/S Ivan Bunin features a total of 96 cabins, all outside, each with a large window that opens (except the lower deck cabins with nonoperational portholes). All cabins have en-suite bathroom with shower, air conditioning/heating, satellite TV/radio channel, mini-fridge, and in-room safe. The ship also features a beauty salon and a small souvenir shop. The restaurant seats all passengers in one sitting and the experienced chefs serve both international and Russian cuisine with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. A wide range of included drinks are offered daily from 8:00am until midnight. The friendly crew will do their utmost to ensure your stay is enjoyable and informative, and they will enrich the overall relaxed and convivial atmosphere on board.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pack and unpack only once
  • Cruise Russian Waterways between Moscow and St. Petersburg
  • Two nights in Moscow on board the ship
  • Iconic sights of Moscow
  • Medieval Kremlin
  • Red Square
  • St. Basil Cathedral
  • Bolshoi Theatre
  • Tverskaya Street
  • Golden Ring cities
  • Shimmering blue onion domes of the Chapel of Prince Dimitry of Uglich
  • Church of Elijah the Prophet in Yaroslavl, a masterpiece of Orthodox architecture
  • Grandiose Kirill-Belozersky Monastery
  • Church of Transfiguration in Kizhi, a unique onion domed masterpiece completely built of wood without a single metal nail
  • Bucolic Russian landscapes dotted with quaint dachas
  • Open-air museum of Russian wooden architecture in Mandrogi
  • Two nights on board the ship in St. Petersburg
  • Iconic sights of St. Petersburg
  • Hermitage Museum and its staggering collection of art
  • Church of Spilled Blood
  • Admiralty
  • St. Isaac Cathedral
  • Onboard entertainment and discussions with expert local guides

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 Depart USA
Depart the USA on an overnight flight for Moscow. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 Moscow
Arrive in Moscow and transfer to the pier for embarkation. Settle in your cabin, and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight join your fellow travelers for a Captain’s Welcome Reception and dinner on board. (D)

Day 3 Moscow - City Tour
Begin your day with a panoramic tour of Moscow, the illustrious capital city, which has embodied the heart and soul of the country for over 850 years. Your local expert guide will introduce you to the city’s most iconic sights: the Kremlin, Bolshoi Theatre, Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral and Tverskaya Street all located close together in the heart of the historic center. Step off your motor coach for a walking tour of Red Square, which over the centuries has been a site of national celebrations, coronations, executions, hand-to-hand battles, and Communist-era May Day parades. Sparrow Hill, on the right bank of the Moscow River, gives you a fabulous view of the city below, as well as Moscow State University. Continue to the New Maiden Convent, Bow Hill, and Victory Park. Afternoon is at leisure for you to explore this magnificent city at your own pace. (B,L,D)

Day 4 Moscow - Kremlin and Cathedrals
Today we tour the legendary Kremlin, one of the world’s most beautiful architectural treasures and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 69-acre fortress emerged in the 12th century as a wooden encampment, and survived many an invader to become synonymous with modern totalitarianism in the 20th century. The complex centers around its palaces, armories, and churches, as did Russian life and politics. See the Assumption Cathedral, the site of coronations and weddings of the czars, the Archangel Cathedral, the burial place of the Russian czars, the Annunciation Cathedral, the Cannon, and Ivan the Great Bell Tower. Afternoon is at leisure. (B,L,D)

Day 5 Uglich - Walking Tour
Spend the morning cruising through the forested landscape and enjoy your first glimpse of rural Russia as you approach Uglich, one of the loveliest towns of the Russian “Golden Ring”. Our walking tour includes the Church of Transfiguration known for its beautiful iconostasis, and the Chapel of Prince Dimitry of Uglich, a 17th century treasure built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s 10 year-old son met his tragic demise. Admire its cluster of red turrets capped with shimmering blue onion domes and the elegant frescoes that adorn the interior. Following our tour, there will be time for you to browse through charming local shops and stroll along the promenade where vendors offer a great selection of souvenirs. (B,L,D)

Day 6 Yaroslavl - City Tour
This morning, visit Yaroslavl, the oldest city on the Volga River. This World Heritage site, also known as the “Florence of Russia”, is renowned for its 17th century stone churches crowned with painted onion domes and soaring turrets. Visit the Church of Elijah the Prophet, known as a masterpiece of Orthodox architecture, to view its beautiful frescoes and icons dating back to the 1600’s, and see the magnificent fortified Monastery of the Transfiguration, founded in the 12th century. Enjoy a stroll along the tree-lined streets and attractive parks, and experience the lively local market before returning to the ship. In the afternoon, sail across Lake Ribynsk. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Goritsy - Kirill-Belozersky Monastery Tour
Along the shores of Lake Beloye or the White Lake, catch glimpses of a bygone era as you pass by rustic family farms and quaint dachas, traditional Russian wooden cottages. Arrive in the peaceful village of Goritsy and visit grandiose Kirill-Belozersky Monastery, founded in 1397, to see its collection of magnificent frescoes, early printed books, and pictorial embroidery. It is said that Vasily III came here to pray for an heir, and soon after, his wife Elena gave birth to the future first czar of Russia, Ivan the Terrible. Return to the ship in time for lunch. Later, relax on board as your ship cruises through Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe. (B,L,D)

Day 8 Kizhi Island - Open-air Museum
This afternoon, be on deck for the unforgettable approach to picturesque Kizhi Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour the remarkable open-air museum, a treasure trove of 18th century Karelian and North Russian wooden architecture. The highlight is the amazing Church of Transfiguration, a unique onion-domed masterpiece featuring 22 cupolas and completely built of wood without a single metal nail. (B,L,D)

Day 9 Mandrogi - River Village
This morning, we navigate the Svir River towards Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest freshwater lake, past a shoreline dotted with graceful willows, alder trees, and stately pines. In the afternoon, we visit Mandrogi, and experience daily life in a traditional Russian village. Once a fishing settlement, this delightful town has been recreated as an open-air museum with ornate wooden cottages, typical of 19th century Russia. Many of them serve as arts and crafts shops where talented artisans make handmade items using old-world materials and techniques. (B,L,D)

Day 10 St. Petersburg - City Tour
This morning, after arrival in St. Petersburg, explore the city’s historic center where legendary landmarks are scattered across more than 100 islands and linked by more than three times as many bridges. Founded by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg was built to rival Venice, and its 101 islands, 66 canals, and hundreds of bridges have secured its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare showcases exquisite examples of Russian Baroque and Neoclassical architecture. See the ornate Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood built on the site of Emperor Alexander II’s assassination. View the iconic golden spire of the Admiralty, and the dazzling St. Isaac Cathedral with its striking golden dome - one of the glories of St. Petersburg’s skyline. Afternoon is free for your independent exploration of this remarkable city. (B,L,D)

Day 11 St. Petersburg - Hermitage Museum
Our morning tour is dedicated to the World Heritage-designated State Hermitage Museum, the former czarist palace of Catherine the Great, and the repository of one of the world’s oldest and most important art collections, rivaled only by the museum’s lavish interior. This 400- room museum contains spectacular examples of nearly all schools of Western Art. Tour the reception rooms of the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, the Peacock Clock, sculptures, and art works of Rafael, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Titian, Michelangelo and numerous others. Tonight join your fellow travelers for Captain Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 12 St. Petersburg to USA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)


Program, vessel and routing are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - 10 nights on board the 4-star M/S IVAN BUNIN. All staterooms outside, each with private bathroom, large picture window, air-conditioning, satellite TV/radio channels and safe
  • SUPERB CUISINE - All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included during your cruise as well as wine, coffee and tea with lunch and dinner. Open bar daily with local wine, draft beer and soft drinks
  • WELCOME RECEPTION - Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Reception
  • DAILY ENTERTAINMENT - Daily music performances on board
  • PORTS OF CALL - We cruise to the fascinating and historic towns and cities of Moscow (2-night stay), Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi, Mandrogi, and St. Petersburg (2-night stay)
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - For your enjoyment we have daily guided tours in Moscow and St. Petersburg, visits to Kizhi, Goritzy, Yaroslavl, Uglich and much more
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as onboard discussions on Russian history, the current political situation in Russia, and Russian language lessons
  • PROFESSIONAL CRUISE DIRECTOR - Assistance of an experienced cruise director on board
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR GUIDE - Assistance of a professional local guide during transfers from airport/boat/airport
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport to the boat
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
  • PORT TAXES & FEES - All ship’s port taxes and fees

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