Arrival and Welcome. Transfer to the Ship
On arrival at the airport your driver will meet you and transfer you to the river port. Board the MS Mustai Karim, settle in and get to know your fellow travellers this evening at the welcome cocktail party. You’ll enjoy sparkling wine and a traditional Russian speciality, red caviar. Afterwards, a lavish dinner will be served in the restaurant on the main deck.
Red Square. Kremlin & Cathedrals. Cruise around the City Centre. Explore Moscow Metro
While the ship remains on its mooring, you don’t have to. You’ll disembark for a sightseeing tour which will allow you explore one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Begin at the Kremlin where you’ll step inside its walls to discover the Tsar cannon, cast in bronze in 1586, and the Tsar bell, the largest bell in the world. It was commissioned by the niece of Peter the Great but has never been suspended or rung. Also at the Kremlin, wander through two of its cathedrals. Nearby, Red Square will delight with the colourful domes of the 16th century St Basil’s Cathedral and GUM, Russia’s most famous department store.
Finally, take a walk to the recently opened Zaryadie Park. Nicknamed the park of the future, you’ll get a sense of Russia’s diverse landscapes with plants and trees representing all of its climate zones. The best vantage point for a souvenir selfie is on the floating bridge, from where you’ll have a backdrop of both the Kremlin and Red Square.
Enjoy an onboard lunch while you cruise around the centre of the city. Afterwards, hop off and take a walk along the pedestrianised Arbat Street. There are usually plenty of musicians and artists performing on the street giving it a great atmosphere.
Duck down into Moscow’s famous metro and take a ride to discover some of the fabulously decorated stations – bronze sculptures, intricate mosaics and even ornate chandeliers grace its corridors and platforms.
Dinner tonight will be at one of the city’s restaurants. There’ll be a folklore show and after the performance you’ll get the chance to meet some of the stars of the show and perhaps even learn some of the tricks of the trade. grace its corridors and platforms.
Visit to the Observation Platform. Cold War Museum
They say to truly appreciate a city you need to go to its highest point, so that’s exactly what you’ll do today. Ascend to the observation deck in the city’s tallest skyscraper. On the 89th floor of the Federation Tower, Panorama360 affords spectacular views across the Russian capital. During this exclusive visit, the observation deck will be closed to the general public so you won’t need to jostle for space. Plus, there’ll be plenty of ice cream and chocolate so you can indulge as you enjoy this bird’s eye view.
There’s only one way to follow such a tour, and that’s to go down as far as you can too. Descend into the deepest bunker in Moscow. Bunker-42 was built in 1951 under the imminent threat of nuclear war with the United States. It is a unique, one of a kind attraction, unparalleled in the world. In the 1960s, it was fully equipped for a nuclear strike, including fuel, water and other supplies, but fortunately it was never needed.
Back onboard the Mustai Karim, it’s time to depart and wave farewell to Moscow as you continue your Russian adventure.
Visit to the Cathedral of the Resurrection and the Kremlin. Choir Performance
A number of attractive historic towns, collectively known as the Golden Ring, encircle Moscow. You’ll reach one of them this lunchtime, the ancient town of Uglich. There, you’ll tour Uglich’s Kremlin and a beautiful church with the dark name of the Church of St. Dmitry on the Spilled Blood. It was built on the spot where the son of Ivan the Terrible died in mysterious circumstances. Exclusively for the guests of Mustai Karim, there’ll be a concert featuring the Kovcheg choir. Spend the rest of the afternoon being hosted in the home of a local family, who we know will supply special treats and engaging conversation to make your visit a memorable one.
City Tour around the Village. Music Concert
Continuing your journey along the Volga River, today’s stop is at the pretty town of Plyos, a mecca for painters and other artists over the years. You’ll enjoy a city tour during which a stop has been arranged at the museum dedicated to the life and work of legendary Russian landscape painter Isaak Levitan. It was he who made the view from Sobornaya Hill one that is instantly recognised across the country. Your guide will bring you up to speed on Russian art and also the everyday life of the provincial aristocracy. This evening, you’ll channel a Russian country house vibe with dinner in Chugunok restaurant, which specialises in Russian cuisine. You’ll learn about typical dishes and be treated to a caviar tasting, followed by a show entitled "Unexpected encounters with Russian music stars“. A descendant of Mustai Karim himself is running the town and some special surprises are prepared here for you.
City Tour around Yaroslavl. Visit to the Enamel Art Museum
Today you’ll explore the capital of Russia’s Golden Ring, which marked its 1000 year anniversary in 2010. The historic centre of the city is included n the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After getting to know the city during a sightseeing tour, you’ll pay a visit to the mansion of the ex-governor, where actors portraying his daughters will show you around the house and invite you for a cocktail in the ballroom to the accompaniment of live music. Next, admire a sprawling model which displays the whole of the Golden Ring in miniature. To give you an idea of the scale, 15km of wires and over 40000 LEDs were used in its construction. The attention to detail will impress: there are unique night projections, lighting effects on buildings, sounds from the cities and countless other surprises. Afterwards, see the only enamel art museum in Russia which exhibits a rich collection of works created by leading enamel artists both in Russia and abroad. Try your hand in creating enamel art yourself during an included masterclass.
Visit to the Largest Monastery of the Russian North
This morning, the ship reaches the peaceful village of Goritsy, from where you’ll make your way to the ancient Feropontov monastery. Founded at the end of the 14th century, it is considered to be one of the purest examples of mediaeval art. The monastery is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is unique in its beauty and authenticity. Don’t miss the Cathedral of Nativity of the Virgin, whose walls are covered with priceless frescoes by the great Dionisius, the head of the Moscow school of icon painters.
Visit to the Open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture. Music Concert
The ship crosses Europe’s second largest lake today. Kizhi Island is marooned in the centre of this cast body of water, another of Russia’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Alight and explore the unique historical, cultural and natural treasures of this place. Admire the beauty of Transfiguration Cathedral, according to legend, built without the use of a single nail. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit a traditional wooden house and experience a Russian banya (sauna). After your tour, enjoy an exclusive concert performance entitled “Music of the Northern Villages”.
As the MS Mustai Karim edges closer to St Petersburg, you’ll enjoy a relaxing day on board this luxurious ship. Cross the remainder of Lake Onega and then traverse Lake Ladoga, the largest lake entirely in Europe, and the 14th largest freshwater lake by area in the world. While it’s perfectly acceptable to have a lazy day just watching the world go by, we’ve laid on a Russian food fest where you can learn more about the cuisine of some of the country’s different ethnic groups.
Draw Bridges Tour. City Tour. Yusupov Palace Guided Tour. Reception at the Catherine Palace
After yesterday’s relaxing day on board, start your day with an early passage under the world renowned drawbridges of St Petersburg. You’ll get to know the northern capital of Russia during a city tour by bus as well as a special tour of the city’s many rivers and canals. After a substantial lunch, uncover the mysteries of Yusupov Palace, where one of the most controversial figures in Russian history, Grigory Rasputin, was murdered. Today’s evening is a special occasion as you are invited to the Catherine Palace for an emperor’s reception. Enter the palace through the Golden Gate with orchestral accompaniment, visit the celebrated Amber Room and spoil yourself with champagne and canapés. After all, you are in the Imperial capital, so why not?
Exclusive Visit to the Hermitage. Guided Visit to Peterhof by Hydrofoil
Start your day in style with an exclusive, crowd-free visit to the world-renowned Hermitage Museum. Enjoy a rare opportunity to see the famed golden peacock clock being wound up. It’s the world’s only sizeable machine from the XVIII century that has survived to this day unchanged. Spend the rest of the morning exploring one of the richest museums in the world with paintings of Da Vinci, Rafael, Rembrandt, Rubens and many others. We should caution you, though – as there are an estimated three million works of art in the Hermitage you cannot hope to do anything other than scratch the surface of its extensive collection. After lunch, high speed hydrofoils will take you to the Peterhof which was created to better or at least equal the splendour of Versailles. See for yourself as you tour its exquisite fountains in the lower park and visit the Grand Palace after hours when your group will have the privilege of being the only ones there.
Tour Dates & Prices
Farewell. Transfer to the Airport
It’s time to disembark the MS Mustai Karim and bid farewell to your crew, fellow travellers and Russia itself as you head to the airport for your flight home. We wish you a safe journey, and hope to see you again onboard the MS Mustai Karim very soon.