July 02 - 15, 2019
Tour Status - Available
Discover the passion and grandeur of Russian history, art and culture. Join Select Holidays' David and Brenda Layden, as we sail from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
The imperial cities, grand artistic treasures and spectacular architecture of Russia await your arrival. From the glittering metropolises of St. Petersburg and Moscow to the timeless towns along the Golden Ring, you’ll experience Russia in all its glory and splendour.
Explore the dichotomy of Moscow—rich with monuments to both 15th-century tsars and 20th-century communist leaders. Stand in awe of the massive Kremlin complex, oniondomed St. Basil’s Cathedral and the extravagant Moscow metro system. See some of Russia’s vast and beautiful countryside as well as its delightful small towns, where locals still engage in traditional crafts. Cruise along the Golden Ring to some of Russia’s most beautiful cities, including Uglich and Yaroslavl, which are known for their white-stone churches and gorgeous monasteries. Be amazed by Kizhi Island’s UNESCO-designated Transfiguration Church, a wooden structure built entirely without the use of nails. And uncover regal St. Petersburg, which boasts art-laden galleries and museums, fabled canals and elegant architecture from a wide variety of eras.
Day 01: July 02, 2019 - Flight from North America (IFM)
Depart North America for your flight to Moscow, Russia.
Day 02: July 03, 2019 - Moscow (Embark)
Arrive Moscow and transfer to Uniworld's "River Victoria" cruise ship.
Day 03: July 04, 2019 - Moscow
If Russia is “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” as Churchill famously said, then Moscow presents an intriguing starting point for cultural discovery. See the city’s most iconic sights (as well as some under-the-radar secrets) with a savvy local expert, both above ground and below. Glamorous, grand, gorgeous and sometimes maddening, Moscow is Russia’s principal city. Founded in 1156, it was the capital of the medieval nation. Moscow lost its status as capital to St. Petersburg under Peter the Great, but it never lost its significance to Russia, and it has reestablished its dominance over the nation’s culture, politics and economy during the past century. Choice of Panoramic City Tour or Moscow "Do as the Locals Do"
A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening. Note: Throughout your visit to Moscow, the order of sightseeing is subject to change. Venues may be closed unexpectedly for unannounced government functions, holidays or religious observances, necessitating changes in our program.
Day 04: July 05, 2019 - Moscow
Adventures await with a whole day in Moscow to explore on your own. Spend the day in Moscow exploring on your own. Return to yesterday’s favorite sites or discover new treasures in this world-class city. You could visit the Pushkin Literary Museum to learn more about Russia’s most famous poet or tour one of the houses in which Leo Tolstoy lived. Perhaps you’d like to take a stroll along Kuznetsky Most, which for centuries has hosted Moscow’s most fashionable shops. Shuttles will run from the ship to the city center for your convenience.
Day 05: July 06, 2019 - Cruising the Moscow Canal and Volga River, Uglich
On today’s excursion to a beautiful Golden Ring city deep in the Russian countryside, you’ll encounter the scene of a centuries-old murder mystery that has become the stuff of legend. While cruising through the 80-mile (128-kilometer) Moscow Canal, you’ll get your first glimpse of rural Russia on your way to Uglich. The canal links the Moskva with the Volga, and its banks near Moscow are lined with bucolic recreation areas that locals enjoy in the summer months. Heading north on the Volga, you’ll come to one of the loveliest cities of the Golden Ring, as the group of towns that played significant roles in Russian history are known. As you approach the delightful and picturesque town of Uglich in the afternoon, be prepared for a panorama of magnificent architectural monuments. Choice of Uglich "Do as the Locals Do" tour or Walking discovery tour with Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood
Day 06: July 07, 2019 - Yaroslavl, Cruising Lake Rybinsk
Credit for Yaroslavl’s well-designed, UNESCO-protected city center goes to none other than Catherine the Great, who was even more than a mighty Russian ruler—she was a forward-thinking urban planner as well. Visit an Orthodox church and a lively market, then kick back aboard a scenic lake cruise. Often called the “Russian Florence” and considered one of Russia’s most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring, Yaroslavl stretches for miles along the confluence of the Volga and Kotorosi rivers.Featured Excursion: Yaroslavl city tour
Day 07: July 08, 2019 - Goritsy (Kirillov), Cruising Lake Onega
Beyond Russia’s major cities lies a completely different world—the fabled land of Mother Russia, celebrated for centuries in art, songs and great works of literature. Explore two rural villages today for an authentic and unforgettable glimpse of everyday life in a Russian provence. Two tiny villages are your destination today. Goritsy, a farming settlement on the Sheksna River, and Kirillov, which may be small but has extraordinary churches linked to the tsars. Choice of A visit to Saint Cyrill on the White Lake Monastery or Goritsy "Village Day". Later, relax onboard as your ship cruises through the second-largest lake in Europe. Fed by 58 rivers, Lake Onega has 1,369 islands and is bordered by the Republic of Karelia on the west, north and east, and by Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast on the south. A great inland sea that creates its own weather, just as the Great Lakes in the United States do, its shores are lined with birch forests. You may think this wild and beautiful country is uninhabitable—and indeed it has few inhabitants—but people have lived along these shores for thousands of years, as petroglyphs carved into the granite on the eastern shore attest.
Day 08: July 10, 2019 - Kizhi Island, Cruising the Svir River
To approach the wooden Church of Transfiguration from the water, with its multitude of shingled onion domes and unmistakable silhouette, can be, well, a transformative experience. Step ashore for an up-close view of this incredible church—built without a single nail—and explore the island’s famous open-air museum and its 89 traditional wooden structures. Kizhi Island, which seemingly floats between sky and water in the midst of Lake Onega, is home to one of Russia’s iconic sights, the all-wood Church of Transfiguration. Choice of Open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture or "Let's Go" village and island nature hike
Day 09: July 11, 2019 - Cruising the Svir River, Mandrogi, Cruising Lake Ladoga
Travel back in time to the 19th century at a reconstructed Russian village populated by talented artisans who make handmade items using old-world materials and techniques. Other highlights today include a rustic shashlik picnic lunch onshore and a cruise on a pristine freshwater lake. A reconstructed village on the shore of the Svir River, Mandrogi illustrates the traditions and lifestyles of Russia’s past. Choice of Mandrogi “Village Day” walking tour with shashlik picnic lunch ashore or Exploring crafts stores and watching artisans at work or "Let's Go" village hike. Later, your ship cruises along the southern shores of Lake Ladoga, a vast freshwater inland sea that was once connected to the Baltic Sea. Islands dot the water while forested nature preserves and beaches line the shores. Relax and enjoy the scenery.
Day 10: July 12, 2019 - St. Petersburg
With its grand Italian architectures and austere Nordic setting, St. Petersburg is a city of canals, palaces and cathedrals that presents a glorious juxtaposition of East and West. See the sights by land as well as water, then experience an art form that is quintessentially Russian—an evening at the ballet. The brainchild of Peter the Great, St. Petersburg was built on 42 islands on the Neva delta, in what was essentially a swamp. The tsar lavished on it all the might, ambition and money at his disposal, importing the finest architects from Italy, the greatest decorative artists and the most celebrated painters: The result is an extraordinarily beautiful city. Featured Excursion: Russian ballet performance. Choice of Glorious Saint Petersburg: panoramic highlights tour & canal cruise or St. Petersburg "Do as the Locals Do" tour with canal cruise and Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood visit
Note: Throughout your visit to St. Petersburg, the order of sightseeing is subject to change. Venues may be closed unexpectedly for unannounced government functions, holidays or religious observances, necessitating changes in our program.
Day 11: July 13, 2019 - St. Petersburg
Cross the threshold of the summer residence of the tsars—the lavishly decorated Catherine Palace—where you’ll see opulent staterooms and the near mythic Amber Room, meticulously restored to its former glory. Dine on traditional Russian fare at a local restaurant, then spend the rest of the day exploring on your own. On your second day in St. Petersburg, you’ll enjoy a guided tour through splendid Catherine Palace and Park. Once the summer residence of the tsars, it is a masterwork of rococo architecture. Then, spend the rest of your day on your own exploring more of this beautiful city or join a tour to Peterhof Gardens—a treat for anyone interested in landscape design. Featured Excursion: Catherine Palace and Park in Pushkin
Day 12: July 14, 2019 - St. Petersburg
Spend your last day in St. Petersburg at what many experts consider the finest art museum in the world, the legendary Hermitage, a former residence of the tsars that’s now home to a massive and mind-boggling collection of priceless works of art. Your final day in St. Petersburg finds you with an appropriately imperial excursion: a guided tour through the world-famous Hermitage Museum. It is the crown jewel of the city and is located in the former home of the tsars, the Winter Palace. Featured Excursion: Hermitage Museum. A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 13: July 15, 2019 - St. Petersburg (Disembark) (B/IFM)
You have sampled culinary delights, explored history and experienced the best of life along the Volga River. Now the journey comes to a close and it’s time to disembark the ship. Uniworld adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come. Transfer to the Airport for your flight back to North America.