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Waterways of the Tsars
Viking Ship at Kizhi Island
Tour Dates June 8th - 21st, 2018 (14 days)
Included meals 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners
Tour Host(s) Phyllis MacRae & Richard Johnston
Pricing from $8,249 CAD
Thinking of Russia, two great cities immediately come to mind: Moscow and St. Petersburg. This monumental itinerary includes multiple days in both cities, touring such landmarks as Moscow’s Kremlin and Red Square as well as Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. But, there is another side of Russia - quaint riverside towns like Yaroslavl, Uglich and Kuzino that only a river cruise can provide. See opulent palaces, discover fortified monasteries and visit beautiful cathedrals. It is an unforgettable way to experience the history and culture of this unique and mysterious country.
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Day 1 - Departure Day

Friday, June 8th, 2018

We meet our fellow travellers at the airport to board the departure flight, ready to begin a journey filled with new and exciting experiences.

Day 2 - Arrive Moscow

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

River port in MoscowToday we arrive in Moscow, the capital and soul of Russia. On arrival we are met and transferred to our elegant Viking cruise ship. After being welcomed onboard and shown to our cabins we prepare for the fascinating days that lie ahead.

Meals: Dinner

Day 3 - Moscow City Tour

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

St Basil's CathedralWe can relax this morning and after lunch we enjoy a half-day tour tour of Moscow, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS). Centred on the Kremlin, Moscow's layout is marked by concentric rings which chronicle the various stages of the city's growth. Moscow's famous landmarks include Red Square, Moscow University, the Bolshoi Theatre and the onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral, the elegant nineteenth century GUM multi-storey department store and the Metro. This evening, attend a special performance featuring traditional Russian folkloric music.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - Moscow Free Day - Optional Excursion

Monday, June 11th, 2018

Moscow's Red SquareToday you have a full day to further explore Moscow’s many buildings, parks and monuments. Or you may choose an optional experience: Take an afternoon tour to Tretyakov Gallery, the world’s foremost museum of Russian fine art; or visit the Cosmonaut Museum with displays that trace the history of space exploration; or a Jewish Moscow tour, illustrating the history and spirit of the Jewish people who settled in the city. Lunch is served aboard, or included in your full-day excursion. Dine aboard for dinner, then relax or take an optional Moscow by Night tour.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - Kremlin Tour - Moscow Canal

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Kremlin from BridgeThis morning we explore the vast Kremlin. This famous red brick enclosure contains many fine cathedrals and palaces. We’ll go behind its walls to see historic gems like Tsar’s Canon and Tsar’s Bell, and tour inside two cathedrals. After lunch aboard we cruise along the scenic Moscow Canal which connects the Moskva River with the Volga River and provides the city with nearly half of its water consumption.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - Uglich

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Church of St. Dmitry on the BloodToday we wake up to pastoral views as we cruise along the Volga River. We stop at Uglich, another city of Russia's Golden Ring, where it is said that Dimitrii Ivanovich, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, was murdered. Today it is a peaceful rural town known for its wooden houses and the blue cupolas of the Cathedral of the Resurrection. On arrival we have a walking tour of the town including a visit to the Chapel of Dimitrii. Then a local family invites us into their home for tea and friendly conversation.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - Yaroslavl

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Food MarketThis morning we find ourselves in the Golden Ring city of Yaroslavl. Built in the 11th century by Yaroslavl the Wise, we will have free time to visit the food and souvenir market, explore the city or visit the city’s square’s finest feature, the Church of Elijah the Prophet with its ancient pews, icons and frescoes. We return to our ship for lunch and departure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Kuzino & Volga-Baltic Waterway

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Passing through a lockToday we dock at Kuzino, a typical Russian village. From here we take an excursion to the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded by Saint Cyril in 1397 with the building of two small wooden chapels. Today it houses an extensive museum. We will also have the opportunity to visit a children’s school in Kuzino before returning to the ship for lunch and cruising the scenic Volga-Baltic Waterway. Completed in 1964 and replacing the antiquated Mariinskaya Canal, the Volga-Baltic Waterway is a system of rivers and canals that link the Volga River with the Baltic Sea. Spanning 229 miles and including seven locks, the Waterway starts in Rybinsk and follows along the Svir and Neva Rivers, emptying into the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea, in St. Petersburg.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 - Kizhi Island

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Transfiguration Church at Kizhi IslandThis afternoon we arrive at the island of Kizhi (WHS), home to the famed Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture. This impressive display gives us the impression that we have just stepped into a Russian fairy tale. Famous buildings include the Transfiguration Church with its 22 onion-dome cupolas and the Church of Intercession, built without the use of a single nail. We'll enjoy a walking tour of Kizhi to experience the charm of this village set on an island in the tranquil waters of Lake Onega, before returning to our ship for more scenic cruising.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 - Svir River - Mandrogy

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Lake LadogaToday we cruise from Lake Onega to Lake Ladoga along the narrow, 139-mile majestic Svir River, also called the "Blue Route". We stop in Mandrogy and explore this model Russian community. Here, we may take some time to explore this museum village; visit the Vodka Museum or shop for handmade Russian craft items. For a truly immersive experience, perhaps an optional visit to a banya; (traditional Russian bath house), or choose an optional tour to witness and participate in the art of matryoshka doll making (both bookable on board only). Continue along the Svir, then cross Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake, to the Neva River.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 - St. Petersburg - Hermitage

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Hermitage MuseumThis morning we sail into St. Petersburg (WHS), past the lattice of canals and bridges earning it the nickname "Venice of the North". Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg is one of the great cities of the world. Fortunately we spend three nights here to explore its treasures. In the late morning we visit the illustrious Hermitage Museum, housed in the Winter Palace and home of the last six Czars. This extraordinary, opulent palace boasts an extensive array of artwork from western European great masters such as Michelangelo and da Vinci to Egyptian, Greek, Roman and oriental collections. We return to the ship in the mid-afternoon to relax. After an early dinner we attend an early evening ballet performance.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 - Pushkin - City Tour

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Cathedral of St. IsaacThis morning we take an excursion to Pushkin, which includes the elegant Catherine’s Palace, named for Peter the Great’s widow, Catherine I. We can tour its various halls, including the Amber Room and see the ornate décor throughout. We return to our ship for lunch. This afternoon we have a city tour of St. Petersburg featuring famous sights such as St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress and Nevsky Prospect. We dine aboard, then relax or attend an optional evening folkloric performance.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 - St. Petersburg - Free Time

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Peterhof Palace and fountainsToday is a day 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, Peter the Great’s "Versailles by the Sea". Tour through the palace with its opulent mirrored rooms decorated with paintings and gilded wooden carvings; and enjoy a walk through its landscaped gardens. See the famed Grand Cascade with waterfalls, fountains and statues that remain unchanged since 1721. In the afternoon, you may choose to join an optional kommunalka visit to get a glimpse of these communal living spaces, or take an optional tour of St. Petersburg from the water. Lunch and dinner are served aboard

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 - Return Home

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

This morning we are taken to the airport for our flight home, where family and friends are waiting to hear about our exciting adventure.

Meals: Breakfast

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Tour Information

Tour Map

Tour Map

Cruise Information

Viking River Cruises
Ship Name
Viking Helgi
Life Onboard

Special Inclusions

  • Cultural Performance in Moscow
  • Cultural Performance in St. Petersburg
  • Daily Sightseeing Tours
  • Educational Lectures onboard

Prices per person (CAD)

Cruise Lead In$8,249
Single supplementCall


  • Transfers between airport and ship
  • Riverview stateroom on cruise ship
  • Meals as shown (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner during cruise
  • Hot coffee and tea on the ship
  • Comprehensive sightseeing program
  • Shipboard entertainment and lectures
  • Port taxes and foreign taxes
  • Rostad Tours travel gift
  • Personalized tour documentation
  • Tipping for ship staff
  • Russia Visa*

Not included

  • Airfare and airline luggage fees
  • Other beverages
  • Optional shore excursions
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Increases to surcharges, taxes or fees
  • Insurance
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