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Waterways of the Tsars

Explore the magnificent cities of St Petersburg and Moscow and discover the spectacular Golden Ring cities of Yaroslavl, Uglich and Goritzy. Includes excursions, flights and transfers

River Cruise Holiday
  • Peterhof Palace, St Petersburg
  • Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
  • Catherine's Palace, St Petersburg
  • Yaroslavl
  • St Demetrius on the Blood, Uglich
  • Kremlin cathedral, Moscow
  • GUM Department Store, Moscow
  • Kremlin Wall
  • St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

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Waterways of the Tsars Special Offer

Enjoy a three nights in St Petersburg where you can visit the Hermitage Museum, Catherine's Palace and Peterhof Palace, before cruising along the Svir River to the village of Mandrogy.

Cruise across Lake Onega to the island of Kizhi which boasts the Open Air Museum of Architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore the magnificent Golden Ring cities of Yaroslavl and Uglich.

Discover the colourful onion domes of St Basil's Cathedral, the famous GUM Department Store and the red brick enclosure known as the Kremlin during your three-nights in Moscow, before transferring to the airport for your flight home.

R166 Operated by Viking River Cruises


Waterways of the Tsars Itinerary

Day 1 - UK - St Petersburg (Russia)

Fly from the UK to St. Petersburg and transfer to your ship. After boarding, you have free time to relax before dinner.

Day 2 - St Petersburg

This morning, travel to the Winter Palace to visit the Hermitage Museum with its vast collection of art and antiquities. Return aboard for an early dinner, followed by a performance of traditional Russian ballet. On forward departures, there is an optional 'The Hermitage Behind Closed Doors' excursion which includes an exclusive look at the public collection as well as other treasures off site. Please note: On the reverse itinerary, today is spent at leisure. (B,L,D)

Day 3 - St Petersburg

Today's excursion goes to the Pushkin area where you visit Catherine's Palace, the elegant rococo 18th-century summer residence of the Russian Czars named for Catherine I (widow of Peter the Great). Tour its various halls, including the storied Amber and Agate Rooms, and see the ornate decor throughout. After lunch, embark on a city tour; see noted sights including St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter & Paul Fortress and Nevsky Prospekt. Dine aboard and enjoy an optional Russian folkloric performance this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 4 - St Petersburg

Most of the day is free to see the sights that interest you. Visit one of the many palaces, churches or museums, or take an optional morning tour to Peterhof Palace, with its landscaped gardens, beautiful fountains and French Gothic interiors. In the afternoon, join an optional Kommunalka visit or perhaps take an optional water tour. Enjoy lunch and dinner on board. Ship departs early evening. Please note: On the reverse itinerary, you'll tour the Hermitage Museum and enjoy a performance of traditional Russian ballet. (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Mandrogy

Spend a relaxing day cruising along Russia's intricate waterways. Sail on the Neva River, then cross Lake Ladoga, Europe's largest lake. Cruise the Svir River to Mandrogy where you have some time to explore this museum village. Visit the vodka museum or shop for handmade Russian craft items. For a truly immersive experience, try an optional visit to a banya (traditional Russian bath house), or take an optional tour where you will participate in the art of matryoshka doll making (both bookable on board only). Continue along the Svir's 139-mile "Blue Route" toward Lake Onega. (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Kizhi

Cruise through the early morning, admiring the tranquil waters of Lake Onega, Europe's second largest lake. Arrive during breakfast at the island village of Kizhi. Set out on a walking tour through the Open Air Museum of Architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, see a collection of wooden houses, windmills and churches representing ancient Russian architecture, highlighted by the famous three-tiered Preobranzhenskaya (Transfiguration) Church, a fairytale-like structure built in 1714 without a single nail. Depart late morning and cruise through the rest of the day. (B, L, D)

Day 7 - Kuzino

Continue cruising along the Volga-Baltic Waterway. This system of rivers and canals, spanning 229 miles and seven locks, links the Volga River with the Baltic Sea. Arrive in Kuzino, a typical Russian village. Take a guided walk through the historic Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded by Saint Cyril in 1397; see several small wooden chapels, the Assumption Cathedral and a museum. You will also have the opportunity to visit a children's school in Kuzino. The ship departs this afternoon. (B, L, D)

Day 8 - Yaroslavl

Arrive mid-afternoon in Yaroslavl, one of the Golden Ring cities that preserves the memory of Russia's historical events. Tour this city rich in monuments and visit the covered food market where you may shop for handcrafted souvenirs. During your free time, you may visit the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet, featuring detailed frescoes and icons. Return to your ship for dinner and evening departure. (B, L, D)

Day 9 - Uglich

After breakfast, disembark for a walking tour through the provincial village of Uglich, another Golden Ring city. Visit the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible's son Dmitry was mysteriously killed. Then a local family invites you into their home for tea and friendly conversation. Lunch served aboard; cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 10 - Moscow

This morning, cruise along the Moscow Canal, approaching Moscow during lunch. Disembark for a half-day city tour. See the famed Bolshoi Theater and stop at Red Square for a view of the colorful onion domes of St. Basil's Cathedral. Enjoy an evening performance of traditional Russian folkloric music followed by a late dinner on board. Please note: On the reverse itinerary, you'll enjoy a tour of the Kremlin. (B, L, D)

Day 11 - Moscow

Today you have a full day to further explore Moscow's many buildings, parks and monuments. This morning, you may want to join a half-day optional to Tretyakov Gallery, the world's foremost museum of Russian fine art. Lunch is served aboard. This afternoon you may choose to take an optional Jewish Moscow tour. Dine aboard, then relax or take an optional Moscow by Night tour. (B, L, D)

Day 12 - Moscow

After breakfast, travel to the city's famous red brick enclosure known as the Kremlin. See its many tall towers and elegant palaces, and tour inside two of the brightly coloured cathedrals. The afternoon is free to relax and explore - you may wish to spend some time people-watching in Red Square or visit Lenin's Tomb. Or, you may take an optional tour of Moscow's oldest museum, the Kremlin Armory. Return aboard for a farewell dinner. Please note: On the reverse itinerary, you'll enjoy a half-day tour of Moscow taking in the Bolshoi Theater and Red Square, plus the GUM Department Store. then an evening performance of traditional Russian folkloric music. (B, L, D)

Day 13 - Moscow - UK

After breakfast, disembark and transfer to Moscow airport for your return flight to the UK.

Price Includes

  • 12 nights full board cruise
  • Return economy class flights from London or selected regional airports
  • Complimentary selected house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Guided excursions
  • Free Wi-Fi access
  • All port and airport taxes
  • Transfers as stated
  • Gratuities on board

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel insurance

Cruise Extensions

  • St Petersburg Extension Extend your cruise with a 2-night stay in St Petersburg at the Angleterre Hotel or similar. Prices from £299pp
  • Moscow Extension Extend your cruise with a 2-night stay in Moscow at the Radisson Royal Hotel or similar. Prices from £399pp
Map for Waterways of the Tsars