Hidden Gems of Russia’s Heartland: St. Petersburg to Moscow Aboard Volga Dream

Hidden Gems of Russia’s Heartland: St. Petersburg to Moscow Aboard Volga Dream



Sail the mighty Volga River from St. Petersburg to Moscow through the heartland of Russia. Begin with three lavish nights in the former imperial capital of St. Petersburg, where you will enjoy special access to extravagant palaces and spectacular art collections. Then embark the luxurious, aptly named Volga Dream for an elegant, six-night river journey. Along the way, stop in less-visited but unmissable Golden Ring towns for a look at the region’s colorful ancient character. Enjoy stunning scenery as you cross Europe’s largest freshwater lake, then call at the village of Svirstroy. Visit two medieval monasteries in Goritsy, and explore the magical island of Kizhi, home to spectacular wooden churches with glittering domes. Venture to Uglich, founded a thousand years ago, to hear an a cappella choir inside a 15th-century lakeside church.

Pricing from
Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International River Voyages
Departure Dates
Jun 9, 2022 - Jun 19, 2022



The finest riverboat in Russia is celebrated for her elegant appointments, meticulous design, and impeccable service. All 56 staterooms have a river view, marble-accented private bathroom, air-conditioning, telephone, flat-screen satellite television, safe and plush robes. Continental cuisine is served along with Russian specialties, and complimentary wine is offered at meals. The inviting lounge, decorated with paintings by young Russian artists, has panoramic windows and features live music and Wi-Fi; the library has Internet access. The full-length Sun Deck with teak planking and deck chairs recreates the ambiance of an ocean-going yacht and is a lovely setting for al fresco dining. Other amenities include a fitness room, hair salon, massage room and sauna. A doctor accompanies each cruise.



Optional postlude in Moscow is offered June 19-21, 2022

After disembarking Volga Dream, enjoy a drive and stop at Sparrow Hill for a bird’s eye view of Moscow. Take an expert-led walking tour of iconic Red Square including the Kremlin and the Armoury Chamber. Discover the newly restored Bolshoi Theatre during a guided tour, and meet with a dancer from the prestigious company. Visit the vast collection of the world renowned Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and delight in pieces that range from Byzantine icons to Van Gogh treasures. Explore breathtaking St. Basil’s Cathedral, and tour the sensational New Tretyakov Picture Gallery, with works by artists including Malevich, Kandinsky, and Chagall.
Postlude Rate:
$2,199 per person, double rate
$2,399 single rate
Includes two nights at the Four Seasons Hotel Moscow, with breakfast daily, two lunches, and one dinner. Sightseeing as noted.




Russia map


  • day 1


    Depart for St. Petersburg on an overnight flight

  • day 2


    Arrive in this former imperial capital in the afternoon, and transfer to the hotel for the next three nights. Enjoy a welcome cocktail party, with the remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure.

  • day 3


    Delight in a private visit to the world-renowned Hermitage Museum before opening hours. Savor this splendid art palace all to yourselves to explore its unparalleled masterpieces with rare intimacy, in a crowd-free environment. Enjoy a welcome lunch nearby. Walk to the Peter and Paul Fortress, the final resting place of various Romanovs, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. This evening, attend a welcome reception and dinner at a special venue.

  • day 4


    This morning, travel to Peterhof, Peter the Great’s magnificent complex of palaces and gardens, which has been renovated to its former Baroque splendor after near-destruction during World War II. In a wonderful highlight, delight in a special visit to explore the Royal Bathhouse, where Catherine the Great took her baths. Take a private hydrofoil back to St. Petersburg for an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening to cruise along the city’s famous canals, and experience the “White Nights,” a period when round-the-clock daylight illuminates St. Petersburg. Enjoy a light reception of wine and canapés while sailing past the city’s pastel palaces and monuments. Dinner is at leisure.

  • day 5


    Visit the neoclassical Shuvalov Palace, now home to the Fabergé Museum. The museum houses an extensive collection of decorative arts, including the famous and refined collection of nine imperial Fabergé Easter eggs. Later, stroll to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, with its gilded dome and lavish interiors. Gather for lunch, then embark Volga Dream to start an enchanting six-night cruise. Familiarize yourself with the exceptional amenities on board as we cast off for our adventure. This evening, mingle with fellow travelers at a captain’s welcome cocktail party before dinner.

  • day 6


    Begin the day standing on deck for a grand natural spectacle as Volga Dream sails through Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest freshwater lake, passing graceful willow, alder, and pine trees along the banks. Later, at the first port of call, the village of Svirstroy, you will be welcomed into a local resident’s home for tea with jam and pirozhki (local pies). Learn about Russian traditions and village lifestyle from our hosts before visiting the nearby town. Return to Volga Dream for the remainder of the afternoon.

  • day 7


    Step off on the tiny island of Kizhi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe. See the Kizhi State Open Air Museum of History, Architecture and Ethnography, including its fairy-tale Church of the Transfiguration. This afternoon back on the Volga Dream, learn to make traditional crêpes and dumplings (blini and pelmeni) at an onboard cooking class.

  • day 8


    Cross Lake Beloye—formerly known as “the tsar’s fishing grounds.” Then visit the UNESCO-listed Ferapontov Monastery, whose frescoes are considered among the most extraordinary examples of medieval Russian art. Enjoy free time in this peaceful village, or tour the 14thcentury Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery (“the Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake”), once one of the most important in Russia.

  • day 9


    In the morning, learn a few words in Russian at a language class before visiting Yaroslavl, the oldest city on the Volga River. It was unharmed during World War II, and many religious buildings dating from the 13th to 17th centuries remain intact. In the Spassky Monastery, see the Transfiguration Cathedral, adorned with murals depicting the apocalyptic visions of St. John, and view the richly frescoed Church of Elijah the Prophet. Take a stroll in the lively market before returning to Volga Dream.

  • day 10


    Visit Uglich, whose medieval buildings loom above a sharp bend in the river. At the five-domed Church of the Transfiguration, an a cappella concert creates a starkly beautiful contrast with the glittering iconostasis surrounding the singers. Learn about the important role Uglich played in the rise of the Romanov Dynasty at the Chapel of Dimitry, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s youngest son met his fate. Tonight, join the captain for a Farewell reception and dinner.

  • day 11


    Depart the hotel early this morning for flights home.

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