Summer 2014 - Russia

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The following meals are included:
B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner

Day 1
St. Petersburg

Arrive in St. Petersburg, “The City of 300 Bridges,” then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, you have free time to relax before dinner. (D)

Day 2
St. Petersburg

This morning, proceed to the Winter Palace to visit the legendary Hermitage Museum, where you marvel at the vast collection of art, antiquities, jewelry and sculptures. Return aboard for an early dinner, followed by an evening performance of traditional Russian ballet. (B, L, D)

Day 3
St. Petersburg
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Today’s excursion goes to the Pushkin area where you visit the Catherine Palace, the elegant rococo 18th-century summer residence of the Russian Tsars named for Catherine I (widow of Peter the Great). Tour its various halls, including the storied Amber and Agate Rooms, and see the ornate décor 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, you may choose to join an optional Kommunalka visit to get a glimpse of these Russian living spaces or take an optional canal cruise. Lunch and dinner served aboard; ship departs early evening. (B, L, D)

Day 5
Scenic Waterways & 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 you may choose an optional tour where you will witness and participate in the art of Matryoshka doll making. Continue along the Svir’s 139-mile “Blue Route” toward Lake Onega. (B, L, D)

Day 6
UNESCO World Heritage Site

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 night. (B, L, D)

Day 7

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. Return aboard for an afternoon departure. (B, L, D)

Day 8
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Arrive midafternoon in Yaroslavl, one of the Golden Ring cities—ancient towns that preserve 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

After breakfast, disembark for a walking tour through the provincial village of Uglich, another Golden Ring city. See the former Kremlin of Uglich and 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 Canal & Moscow
UNESCO World Heritage Site

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. You will also get the chance to explore the famous GUM Department Store and experience the city’s Metro. Enjoy an evening performance of traditional Russian folkloric music followed by a late dinner on board. (B, L, D)

Day 11
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Today you have a full day to further explore Moscow’s many buildings, parks and monuments. Or you may choose to join a full-day optional excursion to Sergiev Posad, a Golden Ring city named for the greatly venerated St. Sergius of Radonezh, to see one of the four most important Russian Orthodox monasteries in Russia. Lunch is served aboard, or included in your full-day excursion. This afternoon you may choose to visit the Cosmonaut Museum to see displays about the history of space and exploration. Dine aboard, then relax—or take an optional Moscow by Night tour. (B, L, D)

Day 12

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 one of the brightly colored 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 afternoon tour to Tretyakov Gallery, the world’s foremost museum of Russian fine art. Return aboard for a farewell dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 13

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or take some extra time in Russia with a 2-night Moscow extension. (B)

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