Arrival Transfer to the Ship
Our driver will meet you in arrivals at the airport with a Go Russia sign board to transfer you to the ship which will be your base while we are docked in Moscow. Tonight you'll be welcomed aboard with a cocktail reception.
City Tour around Moscow
You might be reluctant to leave the comfort of the ship but enthrallling Moscow awaits. The Russian capital is one of the most interesting cities of the world and we'll have a guided bus tour this morning during which you'll enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the observation platform up at Sparrow Hills and visit the World War Two memorial in the Poklonnaya Hills before returning to the center of the city to see the famous Bolshoi theater.
Kremlin Territory with Cathedrals
Today we delve into Moscow's fascinating past, heading inside the famous Kremlin. Once the residence of the Tsars and Russian Orthodox Patriarchs, we'll set foot inside one of its uniquely beautiful Orthodox cathedrals. You will also be able to view the Byzantine splendor of St. Basil's multi-colored onion-domed cathedral, in nearby Red Square. We also offer an optional tour to the Pushkin Museum, as well as to the Kremlin Armoury Museum, where the Tsar's spectacular jewels, crowns, thrones and royal armor are on display.
Visit to the Cathedral of the Resurrection and the Kremlin
The boat sails to Uglich, one of Russia's best-loved provincial towns. Don't miss the superb view as we approach along the Volga River. Founded in 1148, highlights include the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John's Church which dominate the horizon. At the end of the 16th century, the seventh wife of the Tsar Ivan the Terrible lived in honorary exile in the Kremlin at Uglich which is a stop on today's itinerary.
City Tour around Yaroslavl
The ship docks in charming Yaroslavl today, an important port strung out along the banks of the River Volga. The city takes its name from Prince Yaroslav the Wise. Of special interest to history buffs is the magnificent 13th century Spassky Monastery complex, a group of several majestic 17th century cathedrals, an elegant rotunda and the remains of an ancient trading center. Our city tour takes us to the Church of the Prophet Elijah and many other cultural highlights.
City Tour around Nizhny Novgorod
We arrive in Nizhny, as the locals call it, Russia's fifth largest city. Commanding magnificent views of both the Volga and Oka rivers, its ancient Kremlin and pleasant pedestrian promenade “Pokrovka” make it an appealing place for tourists as you'll see when we disembark.
City Tour around Kazan. Visit to the Kremlin and Mosque
In Kazan today, we're reminded that Russian history often looks to the east. Our destination today, nicknamed the Pearl of the Central Volga Region was founded by the Mongols back in the 13th century. An important center of Tatar culture, once it was the capital of the powerful Khanate of Kazan, falling to the Russians under Ivan the Terrible's incursions in the 16th century. Presently, it is a city of around a million inhabitants (half Russian, half Tatar) and absolutely charming with a unique blend of Muslim and Christian culture. A focus of today's visit will be the World Heritage Site of Kazan Kremlin, the Qol-Şarif mosque rebuilt inside the citadel.
City Tour around Ulianovsk. Visit to Lenin Museum
Formerly called Simbirsk, this town has been Ulyanovsk in honor of Lenin since 1924. Ironically, though Lenin was born there, it was during the Soviet era that much of the town's historical heritage was torn down including the old wooden fort and all its old churches. However, the houses where Lenin was born and grew up between 1870 and 1887 remain. There's also an interesting museum which we will have the opportunity to visit.
City Tour around Samara
Samara, today's destination, was once a closed city due to its importance to the Soviet defense industry. It's history goes back much further to its founding in the 14th century. In 1935, Samara became Kuybyshev, renamed in honor of the Bolshevik leader. A few years later it was chosen to be Russia's standby capital, ready to take on the role should Moscow fall to the invading Germans.
City Tour around Saratov
Another important city on the banks of the Volga, Saratov was once home to the Volga Germans. Settling here in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were exiled to Siberia and Kazakhstan at the outbreak of World War Two and few returned. After the war, the city became a military aircraft manufacturing base as well as a focus for the Russian space program. Thus until 1991, Saratov, like Samara, was a closed city.
City Tour around Volgograd. Visit to Mamaev Hill
The fact that this city is named after Russia's most important river is no accident. The city formerly called Tsaritsyn and later Stalingrad was bestowed the honor as a result of its residents' outstanding heroism during World War Two. Heavy German bombardment in a battle which lasted two hundred days pushed the city to the limit and left it in ruins. With losses on both sides amounting to between one and two million, this was one of the great tragedies of the war. We'll make a guided visit to Mamaev Kurgan to pay our respects at the statue of The Motherland Calls.
Along the Volga
We sail along the Volga today, taking the opportunity to enjoy the scenery we pass at a leisurely pace.
Modern Rostov-on-Don was established in 1749 to regulate the trade with Turkey. Once the Volga-Don shipping canal was constructed in 1952, the city could handle trade from five seas: the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, Caspian Sea, White Sea and finally the Baltic.
Tour Dates & Prices
Departure Transfer from the Ship
Our driver will be waiting for you as you disembark the ship ready to transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
Accommodation is offered on three decks: main, middle and boat. The major difference is the location on the ship with the boat deck being on the top. You are likely to have better views from cabins located on top decks where it is also quieter as ship entrance and reception are located on the main deck.
Please see below for detailed description of the ship operated on this cruise.
Motor Ship Ivan Bunin - 3*+ Vessel
The motor ship Ivan Bunin is one of the modern vessels on the Russian waterways and it can be compared to a 4* hotel. It was completely refurbished in 2010 (built in Germany in 1985). If you are looking for more comfort during your river voyage MS Ivan Bunin will be a perfect choice.Learn more