Savour Russian caviar with your blini pancakes. View the swirling onion domes and sturdy towers of Moscow’s Red Square. Soak up the steam in a traditional banya (sauna). Be awed by the Peterhof Palace.
You can soak up all these experiences and more on Viking’s 13-day Waterways of the Tsar cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg, departing the capital on 15 September 2022.
Your Russian holiday starts when you arrive in Moscow and board Viking Akun, a small, 204-passenger ship. The next day you will explore the city on a half-day tour which includes a stop at Red Square. You can see the brightly coloured St Basil’s Cathedral and the GUM department store.
The next day you will explore the city on a tour which visits the Tretyakov Gallery, famous for its Russian fine art. The city is magical after dark as the grand boulevards and monuments are lit up in vibrant green, red and blue. Marvel at the golden dome of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
On day four, you will cruise to Uglich and go on a walking tour. After cruising the Volga River through the night, you will arrive at the ancient town of Yaroslavl and visit a local market where you can pick up some handcrafted souvenirs. Visit the Church of St Elijah the Prophet and marvel at the detailed frescoes and icons.
On day seven, the ship will dock at Kuzino, a typical Russian village where you will tour the historic grounds of Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in 1397.
The next day, you will visit the island village of Kizhi and its open-air museum of wooden houses, windmills and churches representing ancient Russian architecture.
You will cruise the Svir before crossing Lake Ladoga on the way to the Neva River, and finally docking at St Petersburg. Visit the Winter Palace and tour the Hermitage Museum to marvel at the vast collection of art, antiquities, jewellery and sculpture.
Other St Petersburg highlights include Catherine Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress and Peterhof Palace (commissioned by Peter the Great in response to the Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles). Then, it’s time to fly home or extend your stay in St Petersburg.
Highlights of your 13-day cruise
Ballet is synonymous with Russia and no visit is complete without watching a Russian ballet performance.
In St Petersburg, Palace Square is one of the most beautiful squares in the world and the hermitage museum has one of the largest art galleries and antiquities collections.
Indulge in a steam bath at a peaceful lakeside banya in the Russian countryside. This sauna retreat is an intrinsic part of the Russian way of life.
Paint your own trio of Russian nesting dolls and as you create, you will hear fascinating stories about this Russian tradition. The dolls make a perfect keepsake.
Share tea, homemade cake and vodka with a local family in Uglich and gain insight into a Russian home and traditions.
Explore the Kremlin, Moscow’s vast 15th-century walled city. See the impressive cathedral square where tsars came to be crowned and in the Kremlin armoury, admire the magnificent Fabergé eggs and be sure to see the Kazan Crown.