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Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg - Russia

Imperial Charms of Russia – 11 days

The mighty Volga River is the longest in Europe, stretching for over 2,000 miles.

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

. This itinerary along the magnificent river focuses on the area known as the Upper Volga. You will be travelling along the Volga-Baltic Waterway from Saint Petersburg to Moscow via the Volga’s extensive river basin. Travelling on-board the MS Nizhny Novgorod, you’ll experience the elegance of St. Petersburg and the grandeur of Lake Onega before travelling southeast to explore the cultural highlights of Goritsy, Yaroslavi and Moscow.

Day 1: Day 1 - St Petersburg

St Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia for more than 200 years when Peter the Great moved the capital from Moscow in 1712. The city is known as Venice of the North due to its various canals that are dotted with baroque bridges. You will be met and transferred from the airport to MS N. Novgorod, where a warm welcome awaits from your crew. Tonight, enjoy your first dinner with your travel companions.

Day 2: Day 2 - St Petersburg

St Peterburg Palace Square - 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 - St Petersburg

Peterhof Palace - St Petersburg - Russia

They day is all yours for you to explore the city at your own leisure. There are also some optional tours that are available for you to enjoy or you can simple relax on board MS Nizhni Novgorod. In the evening, the captain will be hosting a welcome cocktail with sparkling wine.

Day 4: Day 4 - Mandrogi

You will depart the city of St. Petersburg today and will arrive at the picturesque town of Mandrogi located on the River Svir. The landscape is dotted with colourful ‘izbas’, which are wooden houses with finely carved roofs and window frames. As you wander through the streets of the town, you have plenty of chances to admire and even buy some traditional Russian crafts. You will have some free time to explore some more by yourself. Why not visit the Vodka Museum? You will have a traditional Shashlik lunch in Mandrogi that is included in this holiday.

Day 5: Day 5 - Kizhl

Kizhi - Russia - Chruch

Today you will cruise Europe’s second largest lake, Lake Onega and stop at Kizhi, one of the many small islands that are in the lake. You will be taken on a walking tour through the Open Air Museum of Architecture, housing a collection of restored 18th century Russian wooden buildings, including the breath-taking Church of the Transfiguration. Built in 1714, the structure of the Church was built without a single nail.

Day 6: Day 6 - Goritsy

Goritsy is a typical Russian village set in the most scenic countryside. Take a coach from the ship to the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. Founded in 1397, by Cyril, one of the most honoured saints in the Russian Orthodox Church, the monastery houses the Assumption Cathedral and many ancient icons, which were loved by Ivan the Terrible.

Day 7: Day 7 - Yaroslavi

Church - Yaroslavi - Russia

Yaroslavl is the oldest and largest town of Russia’s Golden Ring, a group of ancient towns that played an important part in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church. Due to its great location, it was established as an important commercial centre for Russia from the 11th century. It is now a UNESCO Worl Heritage site. You will have a guided tour of the town as part of this holiday, which includes a stop at the 17th century Church of St. Elijah the Prophet, as well as an inside visit to the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and an interactive tour to former Governor’s House (Art Gallery).

Day 8: Day 8 - Uglich


Uglich is one of the most beloved towns in Russia and is also part of the Golden Ring. Throughout its 1000 year history, the town has been used by various Monarchs including Ivan the Terrible as a base for attacks on the Tatars and Poles. During your walking tour you will get to see the renowned green-domed Cathedral of Transfiguration. Your walk will also include a stop at the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood, which was built on the site where Dmitry, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible was murdered and led to a political upheaval and eventually the reign of the Romanovs. Once back on board, this evening the Captain will host a farewell dinner.

Day 9: Day 9 - Moscow

Winter Palace, Moscow, RussiaMoscow - Russia

Welcome to Russia’s metropolitan capital city, Moscow. The city’s architecture is a reflection of its 860-year old history with many reminders of both its imperial and Soviet past. You will have a guided coach tour of the city today. you will drive along Leningradskaya Street, Tverskaya Street, Novodevichy convent and have a chance to see Moscow’s main highlights, including the sights of KGB, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, inside visit to the famous department store GUM and enjoy some free time at the Red Square.

Day 10: Day 10 - Moscow

St Peterburg Palace Square - RussiaKremlin walls - kremlin towers - Moscow - Russia

Today is most definitely one of the biggest highlights to any trip to Russia, a visit around the famous Kremlin grounds. The Kremlin is the former location of the Russian government located in the city’s Red Square. During a stroll around the Kremlin grounds, you will see the majestic Cathedral Square which still retains its original form, the Palace of Congresses, Senate square with the Arsenal and Senate buildings, residence of the President of the Russian Federation.

This afternoon is all about getting the most out of your time in this wonderful city. Whether you choose to explore on your own or if you choose to do one of the optional excursions, it is entirely up to you.

Day 11: Day 11 - Back to the UK

It is time to disembark the ship and head to the airport for your flight back home.

What’s included

Included in your trip:

    • 10 nights on board MS Nizhny Novgorod
    • Airport transfers to and from the ship
    • The services of an Emerald Cruises Cruise Director
    • Port taxes and charges
    • All tipping and gratuities

    Included Excursion

    • Guided coach tour of St. Petersburg and a visit to the Hermitage Museum
    • Shashlik lunch in Mandrogi
    • Tour of Kizhi
    • Visit to the Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake
    • Tour of Yaroslavl
    • Tour of Uglich
    • Guided tour of Moscow
    • Visit to the Kremlin Grounds

    Dining Highlights

    • 29 superb meals including 10 Breakfasts (B), 9 Lunches (L), 10 Dinners (D)
    • Including a Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
    • 2 glasses of wine, beer, soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board

Ship Information

Specifically built to sail the magnificent Russian waterways, MS Nizhny Novgorod is a comfortable and traditional river ship, and the perfect base from which to explore the remarkable charms of Russia.

Refurbished during 2019, MS Nizhny Novgorod offers a friendly on board atmosphere, along with a superb selection of on board amenities, including two restaurants, two relaxed bar areas and a solarium and sauna – the ideal spot to relax after a busy day exploring. You will also find an ironing room and a small souvenir store on board.

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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.

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