01582 349 480

St Petersburg - Russia

A Russian Odyssey – 12 days

Russia is the world’s largest country and with that comes with Europe’s longest river, the mighty River Volga.

St Basil's cathedral, St Petersburg - Russia
Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg - Russia

With its varied landscape and culture, perhaps the best way to cover the breadth of the country is by a relaxing river cruise? We certainly think so here at Suitcase Travel.

This holiday starts in the metropolitan capital city of Moscow where you will get to see an array of UNESCO-listed monuments including the magnificent 70- acre Kremlin fortress and historic Red Square. After leaving Moscow, you will see a whole different side to Russia as you cruise down then River Volga. As you relax, you will notice swathes of ancient silver-birch forests, centuries-old churches and brightly painted timber houses in quintessential villages lost in time.

On this holiday, you will also be lucky enough to cruise the waters of the River Svir, which is located between Lake Onega to the wild marshlands of Lake Ladoga, two of Europe’s largest lakes before ending the holiday in Russia’s other magnificent city, St. Petersburg.

Day 1: Day 1 - Arrive in Moscow

Moscow - Russia

Upon arrival at Moscow, your coach will take you from the airport to the boat that is moored in the city. You will have time to wander around the boat and settle in before enjoying a tasty dinner on board.

Day 2: Day 2 - Moscow

Kremlin walls - kremlin towers - Moscow - RussiaSt Basil's Cathedral -Moscow - Russia

There is always an excited atmosphere amongst your fellow travellers whilst eating breakfast this morning as everyone waits for the holiday to truly begin today. In the morning, there is a guided tour of the city. Moscow is a city that has a real fascination about it for its visitors. Formerly a powerful tsarist empire and a Communist superpower, yet today having a cosmopolitan feel very much, it is no surprise why this is so.

On your tour will learn all about the fascinating history of this city that is like no other and dates back all the way to the 12th century. You will head to the famous Red Square where you will spot the iconic St. Basils Cathedral and the vast Kremlin Fortress (you will get a tour of the Kremlin tomorrow). You will also see the austere granite slabs of Lenin’s mausoleum, visit the State Historical Museum and the famous GUM State Department Store, with its immense glass roof reminiscent of London’s 19th-century railway stations. You will discover the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and finally enjoy panoramic views of this intriguing city from Sparrow Hills overlooking the mighty Moskva River.

The morning will end with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant and then you get to spend the afternoon discovering more of this city at your own leisure.

Day 3: Day 3 - Moscow

Moscow - Russia

Another day in this wonderful city begins with a guided tour of the Kremlin, which was formerly the home of the Russian government. There are stunning palaces and cathedrals enclosed behind the walls but today you get to see them up close. The history of this complex is so unique that you this tour really is something special.

Lunch will be served back on board the ship and then you have the afternoon to see more of the city at your own pace. We recommend making a trip on Moscow’s underground network. They are marble clad and full of luxurious touches, a vast difference compared to London’s underground stations. Otherwise, you can visit Stalin’s bunker or the thought-provoking Gulag Museum, dedicated to the history of the labour camps that once existed in the Soviet Union or even make a trip to Tolstoy’s house and museum.

Day 4: Day 4 - Uglich


As you wake up this morning, you will discover a completely different landscape to that of what you have been used to in Moscow. Revealed will be a hilly landscape with a scattering of wooden houses and quaint churches amidst the green slopes. Roughly three quarters of Russia’s population lives in its towns and cities, so much of the rural landscape seems deserted and almost unchanged since the days of the USSR.

After a relaxing morning river cruising and a filling lunch, you will arrive in picturesque Uglich. The city is part of the Golden Ring, a group of ancient towns that played an important part in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church and are now open-air museums, with a wealth of unique monuments and colourful architecture. You will enjoy a walking tour of Uglich’s Kremlin that holds seven impressive buildings and are an extremely important part of Russia’s history. Ivan The Terrible’s son died in suspicious circumstances that essentially led to the Time of Troubles, a dynastic and political crisis, which ended with the establishment of the Romanov dynasty in 1613.

Day 5: Day 5 - Yaroslavi

Church - Yaroslavi - Russia

During breakfast, you will arrive in the oldest and largest city of the Golden Ring, Yaroslavl. It is now a UNESCO Heritage site but was originally established as an important commercial centre for Russia from the 11th century due to its location on both the Volga and Kotorsol rivers. You will wander the charming old town, admiring the elegant façades of merchants’ houses, see the exquisite 17th-century church of Elijah the Prophet and stroll the grounds of an ancient monastery. The more energetic may fancy climbing the cathedral’s bell tower for wonderful views of the rivers and city below. The first woman to orbit Earth came from Yaroslavl and a plaque commemorating her achievement can be seen in the old town.

You will then spend a relaxed afternoon cruising through the might Rybinsk Reservoir. During Stalin’s regime, construction began in 1935 and led to 150,000 people having to find new homes as their towns and villages were submerged to make way for the reservoir. It was so large that after construction was completed it took three years to fill!

Day 6: Day 6 - Goritsy

This morning, you will get to discover the magnificent Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in the medieval village of Goritsy. You will have a guided walk of its historic grounds, you will learn about its history and wealthy patrons, including Ivan the Terrible and the Romanovs.

After lunch, relax on board as whilst you cruise the Volga-Baltic Waterway, part of an impressive 229-mile network of rivers and a canal linking the Volga to the Baltic Sea. You can spot thickly forested riverbanks that cling to the water’s edge and are punctuated by picturesque villages of colourful wooden houses in a scene unchanged for centuries.

Day 7: Day 7 - Kizhi

Kizhi - Russia - Chruch

Later in the day, you will moor on the tiny island of Kizhi that is in Europe’s second largest lake, Lake Onega. The lake has more than 1,300 islands and red squirrels, brown bears, elks and lynxes roam the forests. Meanwhile watch out for ducks, geese and swans amongst the marshlands.

Kizhi is thought to be a pagan site for Ugric and Finnish tribes, its significance grew as a centre on the trading route to the White Sea during medieval times. In 1951, an open-air museum was founded here, comprising a fascinating collection of restored 18th-century wooden structures brought in from nearby villages. The main attraction of this UNESCO-listed site is the extraordinary Church of the Transfiguration that was built in 1714 without using a single nail. You will enjoy a walking tour to learn more about the history of this remarkable place.

Day 8: Day 8 - Mandrogi

You will experience another highlight today. You will be cruising through the River Svir from its source at Lake Onega. Head up to the deck and see a real diverse landscape where emerald-green marshes alternate with red rock faces and isolated villages. You will then moor at the quintessential Karelian village of Mandrogi. It was sadly destroyed the second world war but after the fall of the Soviet Union, a group of investors bought the land and employed lcoal craftsmen to rebuild Mandrogi to its former glory. It is a joy to wander the cobbled streets, admiring the traditional woodwork of the colourful ‘izbas’, gingerbreadlike buildings with masterfully carved roofs and window frames.

Your lunch, as long as the weather behaves itself, will be a barbecue on shore before spending the afternoon unwinding on board the ship. In the evening, you will get to sample the gastronomic specialities of the region during the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

Day 9: Day 9 - St Petersburg

St Peterburg Palace Square - Russia

You will arrive at your final destination on this holiday, the spectacular city of St. Petersburg. Peter the Great made this city the capital city in 1712 and tried to emulate the great Western European capital cities, so the architecture is a little different to that in Moscow.

You have included in your holiday a panoramic tour seeing the main sights, including bustling Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s most famous avenue, its largest department store, the National Library and the monument to Catherine the Great. See the spectacular Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood with its exquisitely colourful domes and glorious frescoes, and the glistening golden domes of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, the fourth largest in the world. After lunch, you have some more free time to explore the city in your own time.

Day 10: Day 10 - St Petersburg

St Peterburg Palace Square - RussiaWinter Palace, Moscow, Russia

Today is the day where you get to wander along the corridors of one of the most famous museums in the world, the Hermitage Museum. The museum houses over three million items, including the world’s largest collection of paintings, in six buildings that includes the Winter Palace where the former Tsars lived.

After lunch in a local restaurant, you may wish to return to the ship or remain in St Petersburg to further explore the historic centre. Perhaps stroll the fine boulevards admiring the city’s elegant architecture, or visit the Fabergé Museum, located in a superbly restored palace and home to the world’s largest collection of pieces by the famous jeweller, which includes nine imperial Easter eggs.

Day 11: Day 11 - St Petersburg

Your final full day is at your own leisure. It is time to tick off the things you haven’t managed to get to see in St. Petersburg. Perhaps visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, a former prison founded in 1703 and the cathedral here is the resting place of many of the country’s former rulers including Catherine the Great and the Romanovs. You may want to return to the Hermitage Museum as it is so large it is impossible to see it all in one visit. Otherwise, you can simply wander the city’s parks and stroll along the network of canals, stopping to admire some of the city’s countless bridges.

Tonight you will have your final dinner on board the delightful MS Rossia.

Day 12: Day 12 - Back to the UK

It is time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers and fly back to the UK.

What’s included

Included in your trip:

  • Happy by day two or we’ll bring you home with a full refund
  • Guided tours of Moscow, St Petersburg, Uglich and Yaroslavl
  • Walking tour through the Open-Air Museum of Architecture in Kizhi
  • Visits to the Kremlin, the Hermitage Museum, Mandrogi and the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in Goritsy
  • All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival through to breakfast on your day of departure (two lunches in local restaurants included), welcome cocktails and the Captain’s farewell dinner
  • Live entertainment every night including concerts presenting international favourites and traditional Russian music
  • On-board lecture on Russian history and other demonstrations including Russian cooking, language and handicrafts
  • Attentive service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides

Ship Information

Built to navigate the waterways of Russia, your traditional river cruise ship comprises four generously sized decks with plenty of space for relaxing, dining and enjoying the views. Admire the spectacular sunsets and ever-changing riverside scenery from the Sun Deck, where there are plenty of outdoor chairs and sun loungers for you to unwind in comfort. After a day’s sightseeing, why not enjoy an aperitif before dinner in the terrace area of the Tsar Bar or at the President Bar, with its magnificent panoramic windows, plush armchairs and relaxed, welcoming ambience.

  • Terrace area in the Tsar Bar and the President Bar, with its magnificent panoramic windows, plush armchairs and relaxed, welcoming ambience
  • Sun Deck, with plenty of outdoor chairs and sun loungers for you to unwind in comfort
  • On board activities such as: a lecture on Russian history, tea-tasting, cooking classes & language classes
  • A lift between all decks (Sun Deck accessible by stairs only)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in public areas
  • Library on the main deck to catch up on some reading
  • Fitness room
  • Souvenir shop
  • On board doctor for first-aid

Can’t see what you are looking for? Don’t worry, in all probability we can still do it.
Call us on 01582 349480.

You might also be interested in these

About Suitcase Travel

A family run boutique travel agency, we specialise in creating memorable travel experiences. Offering unique adventures, tailored to your specific requirements, we focus solely on you, helping you to understand the experience that your holiday will give you and equipping you with those all-important tips that will help to make your holiday that extra bit special. Oh, and the best part? Our service is free – it literally costs you no more than if you were to book direct. Come and talk to us and we’ll help you to create memories that really will last a lifetime.

Want to be inspired? Be the first to know about our latest offers

Sign up for our newsletter to receive special offers and new itineraries first.


Plan Your Trip