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Welcome to Russia and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival and board the river cruiser, your home for the next 10 nights.
After breakfast, you have a guided tour of St. Petersburg. This magnificent city enchants all its visitors with its legacy of history and the arts, and its striking beauty. St. Petersburg is a city of canals and rivers, built on 101 islands and linked by 350 graceful bridges, thus earning the name "Venice of the North". We take a bus tour around the city. You will see the major sights of St. Petersburg, including the Peter & Paul Fortress and the Church of Christ’s Resurrection (The Saviour of the Blood), which revives the traditions of 17th century Russian church building.
Today we visit one of the world’s most famous museums, the Hermitage, housed in the former Winter Palace. The museum contains a vast collection of Western Art, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Picasso and many other great masters. There are also fascinating Historical, Russian and Oriental sections. From the 1760s onwards, the Winter Palace was the main residence of the Russian Tsars. Magnificently located on the bank of the river Neva, this Baroque-style palace is perhaps the major attraction of St. Petersburg.
Today we reach the village of Mandrogi and enjoy an outdoor break in beautiful landscape surroundings. There are several masterpieces of wooden architecture in the village. Villagers will meet you and present a special programme of their traditions and culture. There is a museum of Russian Vodka in Remeslennaya Sloboda, where tourists can learn about the technology and history of Russian vodka production. There are attractive walks through along the village and the forest to beguile you until late afternoon, when we get back on the board and continue our amazing journey.
Today our ship will take us to the amazing tiny island of Kizhi via the Volga/Baltic Canal. The island is located at the northern end of Lake Onega. We will visit the renowned open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture, collected from various areas of the country and restored to form a glimpse of the past. The Church of the Transfiguration, with its 22 domes, is the ultimate in Russian fairy-tale church architecture. The Kizhi museum is one of the most interesting cultural sights in Northern Russia, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Our new destination today is Goritsy, a tiny settlement where the largest Russian Orthodox monastery of the Russian North, the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery, is situated. We continue our river journey in the afternoon.
Arrival in the charming Russian city of Yaroslavl. This is an important port with a population of 600,000, stretching for 18 miles on both banks of the Volga. Yaroslavl was founded in the 11th century by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, and still has many interesting architectural and historical treasures. Of special interest 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. We will start our city tour in the early morning and will visit the the Church of the Prophet Elijah and many other cultural highlights.
Today we arrive in one of the best loved towns of provincial Russia, Uglich, founded in 1148. The view of the town as approached from the Volga River is especially beautiful, with the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John's Church towering on 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. We will visit the Cathedral of the Resurrection and the Kremlin, which are among the oldest buildings in Uglich.
Moscow combines the best of old and modern architecture. It is a city of long avenues and majestic squares, leafy boulevards, parks and gardens, new luxury housing, bridges, the granite embankments of Moscow River, and the unique cultural and historical sites. Start your discovery of Moscow with a guided bus city tour. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the Sparrow Hills observation platform, visit Poklonnaya Hills a monument in honour of a Russian victory in the Great War (World War II), see the famous Red Square and the Bolshoi (Big) theatre or explore modern Moscow’s busy streets and discover the rich history of this magnificent city.
Today we explore Moscow as a great city of Russian history and culture. We will visit the Kremlin (the former residence of the Tsars and Russian Orthodox Patriarchs) and its uniquely beautiful Orthodox cathedrals. You will also see the Byzantine splendour of St. Basil's multi-coloured onion-domed cathedral, in Red Square. You can take an optional tour to the Pushkin Museum, as well as the Kremlin Armoury Museum, where you'll admire many of the treasures of the Tsars, including famous and spectacular jewels, crowns, thrones and royal armour.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.
Located just off Nevskiy Propekt, the exterior of the church rather resembles famous St Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square – due...