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Waterways of the Czars
14 Days  

May - September

Day 1: USA - Moscow
Your exciting holiday begins with a transatlantic flight to Moscow, the grand capital of Russia.

Day 2: Moscow
Upon arrival check into your floating hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure to relax, get acquainted with the ship, the cruise staff and meet your fellow passengers.

Day 3: Moscow
Enjoy a morning city tour and see the famous landmarks and major sights of Russia’s most dynamic city. See the venerable Bolshoi Theater and the impressive Moscow University. Drive to Lenin Hills for a splendid view of the river Moskva and the city below. Explore Red Square - the name alone evokes so many political and historical associations - and marvel at the sinister Kremlin walls and the flamboyantly-colored onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. The afternoon is free. Take an optional tour of the famous Moscow Metro, where each station is a living museum of marble statuary, mosaics and crystal chandeliers. Walk on Arbat Street, a pedestrian-only street lined with souvenir shops. In the evening, a performance of the Moscow State Circus provides an exhilarating complement to an exciting day.

Day 4: Moscow
This morning visit the Kremlin and its incomparable Armory Palace Museum. A walk within the Kremlin provides a fascinating view of the lavish government (formerly Czar’s) palaces and splendid cathedrals. See three of the most important cathedrals in all of Russia - the Assumption Cathedral, the traditional investiture place of the Czars; the Annunciation, with its nine golden domes; and St. Michael’s the Archangel, the internment place of the Russian rulers until the time of Peter the Great. Inside the Armory, see the priceless collection of imperial treasures, including an extraordinary assemblage of imperial travelling carriages and the renowned Fabergé eggs. The afternoon is free to explore Moscow on your own or you may choose an optional visit to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The museum contains a wealth of works ranging from ancient Egyptian to the Impressionists, including works by Cézanne, van Gogh, Gaugin and Matisse. This evening enjoy a rousing performance of a famous Russian folklore ensemble.

Day 5: Moscow
Free day to explore on your own. You can visit Tretyakov Art Gallery, recently reopened after a nine-year remodeling project. Or you can take an optional excursion to Sergiev Posad, the seat of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. This delightful excursion, about one and a half-hours each way, takes you to this enchanting medieval town, formerly known as Zagorsk, buried in the greenery of many parks and gardens. Its Trinity Monastery, founded 600 years ago, is absolutely breathtaking and possibly the grandest of all Russian monasteries. Your cruise leaves Moscow at 5:30 pm. View the lushly wooded landscape as you sail through the spectacular Moscow Canal, which connects the Moskva River and the city of Moscow with the Volga River. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and a gala dinner aboard.

Day 6: Uglich
A relaxing day aboard as you cruise along the Volga, Europe's longest river. Enjoy shipboard activities, including lectures on Russian history and Russian language lessons. After lunch arrive in the historic town of Uglich. As you approach this picturesque Golden Ring city, be prepared for a lovely view of its Cathedral and St. John’s church looming on the horizon. Founded in 1148, Uglich is one of the oldest and most beloved towns in Russia. Infamous for being the site of the mysterious death of Ivan the Terrible’s son, Dimitry, the town now hosts a commemorative church - Church of St. Dimitry on the Blood - on the site where the body of the young Prince was found. A walk through this enchanting town is a delight. Among the magnificent architectural monuments you’ll see are the Kremlin, the Palace of Czarevich Dimitry and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior. Continue cruising in the evening. Dance the night away in the Main Lounge or watch a performance in the concert hall.

Day 7: Yaroslavl
At 9:00 am arrive in Yaroslavl, another Golden Ring city, founded in 1010 by Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev. Yaroslavl has always been considered one of Russia’s most beautiful cities with its wide tree-lined streets and attractive parks. Several buildings here rank among the world’s greatest architecture. On your sightseeing tour, see the exquisite Church of Elijah the Prophet, a masterpiece of local architecture, richly adorned with precious frescoes, and the 12th century Transfiguration Monastery with murals depicting St. John’s apocalyptic visions. Here, "The Lay of Igor’s Host", one of Russia’s greatest literary treasures was discovered. In the afternoon continue your journey northward, cruising through the vast Rybinsk Lake.

Day 8: Goritsy
Enjoy breathtaking scenery as you sail north through the White Lake, once known as the “Czar's fishing grounds”, and through the Volga-Baltic Canal. At 11:00 am arrive in Goritsy, a peaceful farming community where your cruise pauses for a few hours for a tour ashore and a visit to the well-preserved, fortress-like Kirill Belosersk Monastery. In the afternoon continue northward. In the summer the days are long here and the sun is up well after 10:00 pm.

Day 9: Lake Onega and Kizhi Island
Cruise through Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe and one of the world’s purest. In the afternoon (at 5:00 pm) arrive on Kizhi Island, an enchanting place and one of the highlights of your waterway journey. Here the magnificent Church of the Transfiguration is more than a match for the colorful splendor of Moscow’s St. Basil’s. Its 22 shimmering domes in three tiers are the ultimate in Russian fairy-tale architecture. A walking tour will encompass some splendid examples of 18th century Russian architecture including typical wooden churches, houses and a windmill. Visit the spectacular Transfiguration Church before sailing in the evening.

Day 10: Svir River and Svir Stroy
Cruise through the 139-mile Svir River which connects Lake Onega with Lake Ladoga. Pause for a few hours (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm) in Svir Stroy, a quaint riverside village, dotted with stone cottages, a perfect "green stop" to wander ashore for a close look at a typical rural settlement. Continue cruising along the southern shores of Europe’s largest lake - Ladoga - before entering the Neva River. Enjoy the captain’s gala farewell dinner tonight.

Day 11: St. Petersburg
Early morning (8:00 am) arrival in one of the loveliest of European cities, St. Petersburg. After breakfast, disembark for a city tour of this fabled city of canals and Northern Lights. Drive along the Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main boulevard lined with smart shops and restaurants. Explore the Palace Square, the historic heart of St. Petersburg. See the spectacular St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Bronze Horseman, the Admiralty Tower and the sinister Peter and Paul Fortress, the Bastille of Czarist Russia, built on a small island in the Neva River. In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to nearby Pushkin, formerly known as Czar’s Village, to see the magnificent Catherine’s Palace. The evening is free for an optional cultural performance.

Day 12: St. Petersburg
Spend the morning exploring the extraordinary Hermitage Museum, located in the former Czar’s Winter Palace, without doubt one of the greatest treasure houses of the world. You’ll be dazzled by its fabulous art collection. The afternoon is free to explore Peter the Great’s magnificent city on your own. Revisit the Palace Square and marvel at the Royal Palace, or wander inside the Peter and Paul Fortress to see its extravagant Baroque interior containing the tombs of the majority of the Romanov dynasty. The remains of the last Czar and his family were recently buried there. Crown the day with an evening performance. Passengers aboard the m.s. Tolstoy are treated to an exclusive ballet performance at the Imperial Hermitage Theater. Passengers aboard the m.s. Litvinov will enjoy a ballet or folklore performance in another theater.

Day 13: St. Petersburg
A wonderful day, free for individual pursuits. Revisit the art inside the Hermitage Museum, with more time to view paintings by Raphael, Rembrandt, Picasso, or your favorite impressionists. Take an optional excursion to the splendid Peterhof Palace, built by Peter the Great to rival Versailles. The Palace stands on a natural terrace with its formal gardens sloping down to the shores of the Gulf of Finland. Marvel at its spectacular Grand Cascade fountain before returning to St. Petersburg for your last evening aboard.

Day 14: St. Petersburg - USA
Today your fascinating "Waterways of the Czars" Grand Cruise through Russia comes to an end. It is time to say goodbye to your newly made friends and fly home.

Included shore excursions:

  • Moscow - City tour including the Bolshoi Theater, Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • Moscow - Evening performance of the Moscow State Circus

  • Moscow - Tour of the Kremlin and Armory Palace Museum, with its priceless Fabergé eggs

  • Moscow - Evening performance of a Russian folklore ensemble

  • Uglich - Walking tour

  • Yaroslavl - City tour

  • Goritsy - City tour

  • Kizhi Island - Walking tour

  • St. Petersburg - City tour, including Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and the Peter and Paul Fortress

  • St. Petersburg - Excursion to Pushkin and Catherine’s Palace

  • St. Petersburg - Tour of the Hermitage Museum

  • St. Petersburg - Evening performance of ballet at the Imperial Hermitage Theater (ms Tolstoy guests), or ballet or folklore performance in another theater (ms Litvinov guests

Your Holiday Includes:

  • Roundtrip flight to Russia

  • 14-Day (12-night) cruise on board the ms Litvinov or ms Tolstoy in an outside cabin

  • All meals aboard: Full buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Coffee or tea with each meal. Early riser's coffee each morning

  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell cocktail and dinner

  • Entertainment and activities onboard

  • Guest lecturer

  • Comprehensive sightseeing:
    * In Moscow: City tour. Tour of the Kremlin and Armory Museum.
    * In St. Petersburg: City tour. Tour of the Hermitage Museum. Excursion to Pushkin.

  • All shore excursions: Guided sightseeing in every port visited

  • Evening performances:
    * In Moscow: Moscow circus and concert by a famous Russian folklore ensemble
    * In Yaroslavl: concert by a local folklore ensemble
    * In St. Petersburg:
    ms Litvinov cruises – ballet or folklore concert.
    ms Tolstoy cruises – ballet at the Hermitage Theater

  • Cruise Director plus onboard English-speaking guides

  • Arrival and departure transfers, for passengers on group flights

Not Included: Travel insurance.

Price Per Person (based on double occupancy):


Call 1-800-322-0788!



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