Rostov-on-Don - St. Petersburg 2020
Rostov-on-Don - St. Petersburg 2020
Starts: Rostov-on-Don, Russia on Mon, Apr 27, 2020
Ends: St. Petersburg, Russia on Sat, May 16, 2020
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 (Mon, Apr 27, 2020): Rostov-on-Don
Arrival and embarkation. City's International airport (ROV) is just 45 kilometers / some 27 miles away from the River Terminal - therefore it might be a good idea to fly to Rostov-on-Don directly from Turkey. Your ship is docked almost in the very center of Rostov-on-Don, so there are good chances to start exploring the place on your own from the very beginning. Take a walk along the picturesque embankment, and enjoy a very nice view of the opposite Levberdon - local beach and recreational area. "Levberdon" stands for "levyi bereg Dona" (the left bank of the Don). Dinner aboard.
Day 2 (Tue, Apr 28, 2020): Rostov-on-Don
Rostov-on-Don has a very nice city center. It will be visited during the city-tour of today. Places of interest in Rostov-on-Don include Bolshaya Sadovaya Street - the focal point of administrative, business and cultural life of the city; the beautiful park named after the famous writer Maksim Gorky; a very old site where the fortress of St. Dimitry Rostovsky was situated in the 2nd half of the 18th century. Not mentioning the city’s picturesque quay of the River Don! Interesting fact about Rostov-on-Don is that in 1848 the city was famous throughout Russia for its red-light district. By the order of the Emperor, dozens of brothels concentrated around Bardakovskaya Street. Now, it is Ulitsa Vostochnaya and its fame of debauchery fainted a hundred years ago. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 3 (Wed, Apr 29, 2020): Volga-Don Canal
Today we are passing though the tremendous artificial waterways named the Volga-Don Canal. It is a part of the United Deep-Water System of Waterways of Russia. This canal connects the Volga and the Don rivers. The Don River is leveled higher than the Volga River by 44 meters / some 144 feet. The Canal has 13 locks; on the way from the Volga to the Don the ship passes these locks first rising up by 88 meters or some 288 feet and then descending by 44 meters or some 144 feet. On the reverse voyages ships face the vice versa process. The locks are nicely decorated in what is often called the ‘Stalin Empire’ style. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 4 (Thu, Apr 30, 2020): Volgograd
Volgograd has a title of the ‘Hero City’. This title was given to 13 cities of the former Soviet Union - they were honored so for the great heroism & sacrifice of their inhabitants and defenders that eventually led to the defeat of the Fascists in WWII. Nowadays 7 of the Hero Cities are in Russia; 4 of them are located in Ukraine; while the remaining 2 cities are in Belarus. Sightseeing tour of Volgograd includes city’s main memorial sites and attractions and also a visit to Mamaev Kurgan - where the giant statue of the Motherland stands. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 5 (Fri, May 01, 2020): Cruising
Today there will be a day on the water and in fresh air - it is a good chance to spend your day at leisure either on open decks or in public areas of the ship. The Cruise Team will be offering a series of edutainment events that will be announced in your daily program and / or via ship's notification system. The ship sails on smoothly; beautiful coastal scenery passes by setting minds in peace and recuperation... Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard
Day 6 (Sat, May 02, 2020): Astrakhan
The city tour of Astrakhan can be followed by an optional tour to the Volga River Delta - to see the most gorgeous lotus fields. The center of the city of Astrakhan appears to be a great place to walk around: there is an ancient Kremlin, merchants' mansions, numerous beautiful temples. Back in centuries Astrakhan used to be the part of a Silk Road network linking China, Central Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean. Many caravans have been making their way through Astrakhan; there were numerous fairs held in the city and it was home to people of over 200 nationalities. That is why there are so many churches and mosques in Astrakhan. A working Buddhist temple also exists in the Region of Astrakhan. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard
Day 7 (Sun, May 03, 2020): Upstream the Volga River
The ship is to cover the distance of nearly 500 kilometers / some 310 miles while sailing from Astrakhan and the Volga Delta back to Volgograd. Our cruise ship will cross the borders of three states of the Russian Federation: Astrakhan Oblast, the Republic of Kalmykia (that is Europe’s only Buddhist state), and Volgograd Oblast. We’ll be passing semi-deserts and desert zones. By the way, the industry of salt production in Astrakhan Oblast is one of the largest in the world. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard
Day 8 (Mon, May 04, 2020): Volgograd
We are back to Volgograd. This day might offer quite a lot of free time on your own - or the opportunities to take the optional tours. One of them is a tour to military memorial complex of Rossoshka that is over 34 kilometers / some 21 miles away from the city of Volgograd. Another one is a visit to Volgograd State Panoramic Museum “The Battle of Stalingrad”. Those that choose to spend a time on their own during this day may want to enjoy the following sites: the 62nd Army Central Embankment, built in the classical Soviet style; Prospekt Lenina (Lenin Avenue), the city’s main street and one of the longest roads in Russia; Predmostnaya Square and many more. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 9 (Tue, May 05, 2020): Saratov
City tour. Present-day Saratov is a city of universities, theaters, and museums. The architecture of Saratov is a lovely mix of an old merchant town with the style of a modern city. However, its historical center mostly has buildings that were constructed in the late 19th - mid-20th centuries: the building of the Conservatoire designed in a Neo-Gothic style; historical Drama Theatre; Radischev Art Museum with more than 20,000 exhibits are just some of the examples. Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, has been studying at Industrial Technical School in Saratov to become a qualified foundry worker - prior to becoming a skilled military pilot. By the way, some sections of the molded fence in the park near the modern Saratov Drama Theatre were made by Gararin and his fellow-students. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard
Day 10 (Wed, May 06, 2020): Samara
Today there will be a city tour of Samara that is a large and important historical port. Just as many well-developed settlements of the past, Samara was built where two rivers merge - in order to protect its inhabitants and to ensure the successful trade. Modern Samara is a fusion of an old trade town with well-preserved houses including some Old-Russian teremok-buildings, with Soviet Era architecture, the art nouveau constructions and gothic temples. Samara also has an “old center” - this is the place where the settlement began in early times. The streets there are quite narrow and the houses are mainly one-storied. Still it is a special pleasure to observe numerous small patios of the area: each one has its own history. And this history did not just pass by - somebody lived through it, felt it, and was making this history. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 11 (Thu, May 07, 2020): Ulyanovsk (Simbirsk)
There will be a sightseeing tour over Ulyanovsk that is a birthplace of Vladimir Lenin. Not so many people are interested in Lenin these days - therefore the city is not a place of worshipping any more. Well, despite the fact that the splendor of the “Lenin’s Homeland” brand has somewhat faded for the present-day Ulyanovsk, the city still remains an interesting site on Russia’s map. Enormous expanses of the river Volga, the Riverside Station, Lenin’s sites and many local museums of various kinds - something out of the list will surely pick a traveler’s interest opening up the city from an unexpected side. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard
Day 12 (Fri, May 08, 2020): Kazan
Our city tour around Kazan is an excellent opportunity to enjoy all the main sights of the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan in one excursion. The sightseeing also includes the famous Kazan Kremlin and Kul-Sarif Mosque. The Kremlin of Kazan is one of the most beautiful medieval fortresses in Russia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Staraya Tatarskaya Sloboda is an old national Tatar district in Kazan where many historical buildings have been preserved - this place is surely of interest to the city guests. One of the most interesting facts about Kazan is that Gala, Salvador Dali’s wife and muse, has been born in Kazan. Kazan Subway, having just 5 stations, is listed among Guinness World Records as the shortest metro system in the world. One can get from one end to another end of the city only in 10 minutes! Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 13 (Sat, May 09, 2020): Nizhny Novgorod
City tour. During the Soviet Era it was impossible for a foreigner to visit Nizhniy Novgorod because of enterprises of military industry, located in the city. River cruise ships with foreign travelers aboard were passing the city deeply at night. By the way, the first Soviet tank was manufactured in Gorky city - this is the Soviet name of Nizhny Novgorod. It was very typical in the early Soviet Union to change the original names of the settlements - that was done in order to make a distance with a 'cruel Tsarist regime'. The present day Nizhny Novgorod is the fourth largest city in Russia after Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosibirsk. It has a lot to offer for sightseeing, and its Kremlin - the fortress that was never ever taken by enemies - is one of the best sites. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard
Day 14 (Sun, May 10, 2020): Plyos
Plyos, a cozy little town, is perfect for a ‘green stop’. A ‘green stop’ in river cruising means that a lot of time is spent on one’s own in a port of call. Normally there are no city tours, because the place and the surrounding nature are so gorgeous that a traveler is inspired to explore it by oneself as if taking a rest from an organized group sightseeing. It is all true about a small, almost dreamlike town of Plyos. The place is remarkably picturesque because of a unique terrain: the high bank of the river is cut with ravines which split it into separate mountains. For quite a time Plyos was an attraction among famous landscape-painters. Take a walk along the cobbled streets of this hospitable place; go up the Cathedral Hill, breathe the fresh air and take a look around… Maybe you’ll create a great painting of your own afterwards? Who knows… Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 15 (Mon, May 11, 2020): Yaroslavl
Today there will be a guided sightseeing over this great city located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers. This city of Yaroslavl is widely known for its great 17th century architecture. Also it is an outstanding example of the urban planning reform that the Empress Catherine the Great ordered for the whole of Russia in 1763. In the course of this reform Yaroslavl kept its the most significant historic structures, but was generally renovated in the neo-classical style in accordance with radial urban master plan. The Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, the oldest one in the Volga Region was left untouched - today it is a well-preserved historical monumet of the utmost importance to Yaroslavl Region and to the entire Russia. The Monastery dates back to the late 12th century, when it was buit on the site of a pagan temple; its major reconstruction occured in the 16th century. The Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery is on our list today along with the famous Church of Elijah the Prophet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 16 (Tue, May 12, 2020): Goritsy
On the list today there will be a bus trip to the Monastery of St. Cyril of the White Lake. The monastery was founded in 1397 on the bank of Lake Siverskoye, to the south of the town of Beloozero, in the present-day Vologda Oblast. The Czar Ivan the Terrible not only had his own cell in the cloister, but also planned to take monastic vows here. Back then it was also a political prison for high-ranking officials. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 17 (Wed, May 13, 2020): Kizhi
Kizhi is one of the real Russian wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage site. There will be a walking tour around this open air museum of amazing wooden architecture. Wooden houses that are traditional for the Russian North are also visited during this tour. Travelers get to know the traditional way of life and learn about crafts of the locals. This also includes the production of so called “plowshares” – that wooden “squama” covering the onion domes of Kizhi. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 18 (Thu, May 14, 2020): River Village Mandrogi
Docking at Mandrogi is called a “green stop.” The nature there is very green and picturesque. On the other hand travelers have a “green light” to spend lots of time on their own. They get a chance to contact local villagers, to learn about traditional crafts and Russian cuisine, to buy souvenirs and to take a little walk through the beautiful forests of Northern Russia. The Museum of Russian Vodka is a highlight of this splendid green stop. Breakfast, BBQ for lunch and dinner aboard.
*at times the stop in Mandrogi might be replaced by a stop in Svirstroy or Lodeynoye Pole. The cognitive experience will be a similar one.
Day 19 (Fri, May 15, 2020): St. Petersburg
This extraordinary city, founded by the Emperor Peter the Great in 1703, is the highlight of your Russian River adventure. The Emperor has accomplished what could had seemed impossible back in those days - he built a remarkable European city on really swampy lands. It might be possible to have some time on your own in the city center on today’s eve. City-tour: enjoy the extravagant baroque architecture of the city center, Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square and Smolny Convent. Your guided tour also includes the Admiralty Building, Peter and Paul Fortress. Good choice of optional tours is offered in St.Petersburg, so there is always a lot to do after the city-tour. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard.
Day 20 (Sat, May 16, 2020): St. Petersburg
Time to bid farewell to your new friends and the elegant city of St. Petersburg. Disembarkation after breakfast.
Your Price Includes
Accommodations in outside cabins, each with private bathroom facilities, individual temperature control and large picture window. Cabins on Lower Decks have non-opening portholes.
Three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) per day in the ship’s restaurant with the same menu for all passengers irrespective of cabin category; meal service begins with dinner on day of embarkation and ends with breakfast on day of disembarkation.
Captain’s welcome Cocktail Reception.
Gala farewell dinner aboard.
Full sightseeing programs in each of the ports of call, transfers upon arrival/departure.
Luggage handling to/from the ship.
Lectures, provided by our guides.
Russian or Ukrainian language and song lessons.
Nightly entertainment and dancing.
Daily aerobics (if scheduled).
Tour of the ship’s bridge.
Our Cruise Director and professional staff.
All our cruise ships are fully air conditioned and have outside-facing cabins.
Baggage: excess baggage, forwarding of baggage/souvenirs.
Luggage handling in the airport.
Gratuities: gratuities for Cruise Director, ship’s crew members, guides and drivers are not included and are at passenger’s discretion.
Miscellaneous items of personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, beauty salon, telephone cable charges and medical services are not included.