VOLGA-RIVER CRUISE from Moscow to Astrakhan
With the completion of the impressive Moscow-Volga Canal in 1937, the capital was finally linked to the great system of waterways that runs from St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland all the way to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea. As a result, it is possible today to follow the entire trade route along the Volga, from Moscow all the way to Astrakhan, the ancient capital of the Tatars. While cruising you will sail along almost the entire length of the Volga River to the edge of the Caspian Sea.
Volga River is the largest river (3685 km) in Europe in terms of length, discharge and watershed. The Volga has many tributaries, most importantly the Kama and the Oka rivers. A number of large hydroelectric reservoirs were constructed on the Volga during the Soviet rule. During the 14 days cruise you will see: Uglich, Gorky, Cheboksary, Kuybyshev, Saratov and Volgograd reservoirs. The river has a symbolic meaning in Russia culture and is often referred to as Volga-Matushka (Volga-mother) in Russian literature and folklore.
Route: Moscow – Uglich – Yaroslavl – Kostroma – Nizhnyj Novgorod – Cheboksary – Kazan – Samara – Saratov – Volgograd – Astrakhan
Arrival in Moscow. Optional transfer to the ship. Bread and salt ceremony. Evening entertainment in the bars of the ship. Dinner on board.
Moscow city tour by bus with tour on Moskva-river. During the tour you can enjoy the views of Red Square, the Lenin Mausoleum, Bolshoy Theatre, the Olympic Stadium and other points of interest.
The city that never sleeps, the third Rome, the place that does enjoy diversity, the capital of Russia – Moscow. Moscow is the largest city of the great country with 11 million inhabitants. During your stay in this heterogeneous metropolis you will get to know the history of the city and visit the most prominent sights of Moscow, the breathtaking Red Square with the beautiful ensemble of St. Basil’s cathedral and GUM, the Kremlin and its famous insides, Tverskaya street and the Bolshoi Theatre. Breakfast and dinner on board, buffet lunch during boat ride.
Excursion to Kremlin with a visit to one cathedral. Captain's welcome coctail on board. The cruise will start sailing along the Moscow canal, which is 125 km long and has 6 locks. The canal was mainly built by political prisoners who worked in terrible conditions. In 1947 when the capital was celebrating its 800th anniversary and the canal its 10th anniversary it was named after Moscow. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
The ship is sailing along Volga river. Arrival in Uglich, which is in the Yaroslavl province, a river port and a railway station. The city produces clocks, watches, cheese and other milk products. Heavy machinery is repaired here. There is a hydroelectric station. The population is 39,000. The town has a museum of art and history. Walking tour with the visit of Kremlin territory, Dmitry on the Blood Church and Transfiguration Cathedral. Departure from Uglich in the evening and cruise continues along Volga river. Evening entertainment on board. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Arrival in Yaroslavl. City tour by bus with the visits to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Chruch, St. Elijah the Prophet Church (outside). During the tour you will also visit local market and Art Gallery. The city was founded XI century by prince Yaroslav the Wise on confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosli. Main sightseeing is well known for its beauty temples of XVII century, saved since “golden century” of Yaroslavl in the period when skilful architects and icon-painters were working here. Amazing are the frescoes of Ilya the Prophet church situated on the main square. It is the original museum of Russian ancient paintings. Nikola Nadein church with carving gilded Ikonostasis executed in baroque style and unique fifteen-dome Ioan Predtechi church are among ceremonial monuments of the Yaroslavl architectural school. Departure from Yaroslavl.
Arrival late in the afternoon to Kostroma, where bus city tour including visits of Ipatiev Monastery and Trinity Cathedral. Kostroma is as old as Moscow. Located on the left bank of the Volga River, it abounds in magnificent monuments of old architecture. Its picturesque suburbs have long been a source of inspiration for many Russian artists. The outstanding role which Kostroma played at certain periods in Russian history accounts for the art heritage to be found in the city today. At the confluence of the Kostroma and Volga Rivers rise the white stone walls and golden cupolas of the Ipatievsky Monastery. It was founded in the latter half of the XIII century to protect the approaches to the city from the upper reaches of the Volga. Evening entertainment. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Arrival in Nizhny Novgorod. Bus city tour with the visit of Kremlin grounds. Located at the confluence of the Oka and the Volga rivers, Nizhny Novgorod has been an economical and cultural center of the vast Volgo-Vyatsky region and offers insights into life in Russia’s heartland. Nizhny Novgorod was known as Gorky from 1932 to 1990 and was a closed city for 45 years. Evening entertainment. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Arrival in Cheboksary. City tour by bus. Cheboksary was first mentioned in written sources in 1469, when Russian soldiers passed here on the way to the Khanate of Kazan. According to archeological excavations the area had been populated considerably earlier. The site hosted a Bulgarian city of Veda Suvar, which appeared after Mongols defeated major Volga Bulgarian cities in 13th century. In 1555, the Russians built a fortress and established a settlement here. At the end of the 17th century, Cheboksary was regarded as a major commercial city of the Volga region, and in 1781 it received the status of a city of the Kazan province. In the beginning of the 19th century the population was about 5500. Cheboksary also was noted for its 25 churches and four monasteries, and Cheboksary bells were known in London and Paris. Nowadays population of the city is approx. 450.000. Entertainment on board. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Arrival in Kazan where bus city tour including visit of the Kremlin grounds. Kazan is the capital of the republic of Tatarstan and a port at confluence of the Volga and Kazanka rivers. Once a prominent Muslim city, Kazan remains a center of Tatar culture. The Kremlin´s oldest part of which dates from the 15th century, a 16th-century church and two 18th-century mosques. Kazan was founded in the late 14th century and soon became the capital of a powerful Tatar khanate. Entertainment on board. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Arrival in Samara where city tour with the visit of Art Gallery. Departure in the afternoon. Samara was founded as a fortress to guard the riverways. The city is situated on the very beautiful place on the left bank of the Volga river in the center of great steppe. Samara is one of the biggest cities of Russia. Entertainment on board. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Arrival in Saratov where bus city tour. Saratov is located in the heart of Volga River Valley Region. The name Saratov comes from the Tatar word Sary-Tau (Yellow mountain). During its 400 year history Saratov has served as the crossroads for many historical events and outstanding people. Entertainment and breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Arrival in the afternoon in Volgograd. City tour with a visit of impressive Mamaev Hill. The city originated to defend the southern border of tsarist Russia. The city gained its new name of Stalingrad (literally: “Stalin city”) in 1925 because Stalin’s allegedly decisive leadership there during the Russian Civil War became legendary. The Stalingrad area became the site of the Battle of Stalingrad. Volgograd remains a virtual remembrance of things lost, dotted with landmarks honoring the dead. The most famous geographical attraction is Mamayev Hill, which saw the worst fighting of the battle. The hill is dotted with sculptures devoted to those who died, and topped with the magnificent rendering of “Mother Russia”, at 52 meters high, the world’s largest freestanding statue. Entertainment, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Sailing day or subject to the weather forecast stop at Akhtuba, which is the left distributary of Volga river. Akhtuba splits off the Volga above the city Volgograd, and flows toward the Volga Delta and Caspian Sea. Entertainment on board. Breakfast, lunch and Captain's dinner on board. Gala concert in the evening.
Arrival in Astrakhan, where city tour with the visit of the Kremlin grounds. Astrakhan is a unique blend of East and West. To the west of the city lies the Kalmyk Republic, a small slice of Asia lying entirely within the European continent. The Kalymks (who follow the Tibetan Gelupka Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism) settled there after arriving from Mongolia in the 17th century. Meanwhile, just to the east of the city is Russia’s border with Kazakstan. Entertainment, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Breakfast on board. Check out. Optional transfer.
Programme and schedules are subject to change.
Included in tour price
• Accomodation on board according to your reservation
• Full board on the ship (buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner with a glass of wine per day) starting from dinner on the arrival day and breakfast on the departure day
• Captain´s welcome cocktail reception
• English speaking board guides
• On board daily entertainment
• Excursion programme with English speaking guides
• Captain´s farewell dinner (special menu)
• Welcome bread and salt ceremony
• Obtaining of visa to Russia. Please contact us for rates.
• Transportation to/from Moscow/Astrakhan
• Transfers from/to the airport/train station to/from the ship in Moscow/Astrakhan
• Additional drinks and water in ships restaurants and bars
• Optional excursions
• tips for the crew
(approximate figures depending on vessel)
- Four-deck vessels
- Passenger capacity 250 passengers
- Speed 25 km per hour
- Length 120 m
- Width 15 m
- Draught 2,5 m
- Sun deck with open views and sitting area
- Walk-around, open air promenade on decks
- Restaurant with panoramic views
- Doctor on board
- Coffee bars
- Conference room
- Souvenir store