Road Scholar : Home
Russian River Voyages Between Moscow and St. Petersburg

Program Number: 14304RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/13/2014 - 8/26/2014; 5/25/2016 - 6/6/2016; 8/10/2016 - 8/22/2016; 9/7/2016 - 9/19/2016;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Russia
Price starting at: $3,596.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 33; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Immerse yourself in the vast country of Russia and its people through the prism of life along its waterways. Learn of the Russian Imperial past in St. Petersburg and experience the Volga region’s villages. Explore the dynamic center of Moscow during informal talks and walks addressing Russia’s history, architecture and current issues.

Activity Particulars

Please note that the cruise operator reserves the right to subsitute the vessel with a sister ship. Walking up to two miles a day and standing in museums. Program cost excludes two lunches to enjoy on your own.

Walking up to two miles daily, standing in museums; no wheelchair facilities.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

St. Petersburg (Russia), 2 nights, aboard vessel, 10 nights.

Day 1:
Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Days 2-6:
St. Petersburg (Russia):

Focus on the history of St. Petersburg and the Romanov dynasty during narrated visits to Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and Peterhof. Discuss modern Russia with an expert. An art expert leads you through the Hermitage Museum. Enjoy a National Dance and Music performance. Lodging: Four-star hotel.

Day 7:

Stroll through this quaint riverside village and enjoy lake and river vistas. Engage in an expert led onboard discussion on Russian national customs and traditions. Enjoy Shashlyk (shish kebab) lunch ashore. Participate in an evening program aboard.

Day 8:

A narrated excursion presents the wooden architecture, featuring the spectacular Church of the Transfiguration, on this UNESCO-designated fairy-tale islands on Lake Onega. Attend a lecture and enjoy onboard activities.

Day 9:

With a local expert, explore the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in the village of Goritsy. A narrated excursion takes you through the monastery grounds and the local museum featuring a collection of rare icons. Attend an onboard performance.

Day 10:

During a city drive led by an expert admire this historic river city's medieval architecture featuring 17th-century cathedrals. Hear about the dramatic events of Russia's turbulent medieval history and the 'Time of Troubles' which took place here in early 1700s. Participate in an onboard program.

Day 11:

During a walking excursion, view the medieval Kremlin (fortress) walls of ancient Uglich, see the Cathedral of Resurrection and St. John's Church. Hear about the Rurick dynasty of the Russian Tsars which ended here. Enjoy the Captain's farewell dinner.

Days 12-14:
Moscow / disembark / departure:

Focus on modern Russia and the dynamic life of Moscow's citizens during an expert led city drive. Visit the legendary Kremlin compound and spend time in Red square. Participate in a political discussion. Attend an evening performance.

Nikolay Chernyshevsky

The motor ship Nikolay Chernyshevsky, managed by the Russian river cruise operator Vodohod, was built in Germany in 1981. It is a 4-passenger deck vessel 125 meters long and can hold up to 252 passengers. It was completely refurbished in 2002 and 2009 and freshly painted in 2011, with new carpeting installed in the cabins and all public areas, and with new furniture in the restaurants and bars. The friendly all-Russian crew and cruise staff are trained to service western travelers and most of them speak English.


Russia developed under the influence of intellectuals, peasants, tsars and demagogues. Byzantine origins meld with Christianity in vibrant architecture, while religion, folkways and revolution inspired artists from Stravinsky to Chagall. Oppressive regimes helped to create the Iron Curtain, but the late 20th century ushered in glasnost, perestroika and a democratic nation of billionaires, ongoing reforms and an integral role in modern geopolitics.

Meals and Lodgings
   Original Sokos Olympia Garden Hotel
  St. Petersburg, Russia 2 nights
   Nikolay Chernyshevsky
  St. Petersburg, Russia
Various ports of calls, Russia
Moscow, Russia
10 nights
 Original Sokos Olympia Garden Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Sokos Hotels are Finland's premier hotel chain, with nearly forty hotels across Finland. The Original Sokos Hotel Olympia Garden was the group's first hotel in St. Petersburg, opening in 2008. It is a modern and cozy hotel located in central St. Petersburg, in a leafy park along one of the city's main roads, Moskovsky Prospekt, and a 3-minute walk to a Metro [subway] station on a direct line to the city center (3 Metro stops away from Nevsky Prospekt). The hotel is conveniently located within short walking to the Trinity Cathedral,and short driving distance to the Yusoupov Palace Museum, the Mariinsky Theater, the Hermitage Museum, and other famous museums and theaters.
  Ship Information: N / A
  Contact info: 3 A Bataysky Pereulok
St. Petersburg,  190013 Russia
phone: +7 812 335-2270
  Room amenities: The hotel has 348 comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped guest rooms, all with individual climate control, complimentary Wifi access and all the modern amenities of a European managed, 4-star hotel: flat screen TVs, modern private facilities, hair dryers, and standard bathroom toiletries.
  Facility amenities: Original Sokos Hotel Olympia Garden has a steam room, a sauna, and a 24-hour fitness center. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. The hotel offers a bar/lounge. Additional amenities include multilingual staff, laundry service, and room service (during limited hours). 24 hour security.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: apprx. $350 /tw tb reconfirmed Additional hotel nights can be requested by contacting Road Scholar Travel Services. RSTS will confirm the reservation and rate, and you pay the hotel directly by credit card or cash for the additional nights. Room rates are subject to change and can only be confirmed at the time of reservation. Direct booking via the Internet is also recommended:
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Type: Riverboat
  Description: For 10 nights your floating hotel will be your river cruiser. The motor ship 'Nikolay Chernyshevsky', managed by the Russian river cruise operator Vodohod, was built in Germany in 1981. It was completely refurbished in 2002 and 2009 and freshly painted in 2011, with new carpeting installed in the cabins and all public areas, and with new furniture in the restaurants and bars. The friendly all-Russian crew and cruise staff are trained to service western travelers and most of them speak English.
  Ship Information: Ship Type 301 – a 4-passenger deck vessel. Length – 125 m. Beam – 16.7 m. Draft – 2.9 m. Speed – 25.5 km per hour (15 mph). Total Passenger capacity: 250-252. The ship is equipped with the latest navigational system and satellite phones. Communication: radio and mobile phones (used for emergencies only). Electrical service: 220 V, requiring round prong sockets. The ship is fully air-conditioned. NO ELEVATORS ON BOARD. Decks are connected by railed stairways (10-12steps each). The ship has 2 two-room suites, 2 junior suites with double beds, 100 standard twin cabins on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th decks, 18 single cabins, and 10 triple cabins.
  Contact info: St. Petersburg River Station. Terminal Utkina Zavod
Oktyabrskaya Naberezhnaya 31
St. Petersburg,   Russia
phone: +xxx
  Room amenities: For this program we have reserved 2 junior suites (260 sq. feet) and standard twin cabins with 2 twin lower beds (129 sq. feet) on the 2nd and 3rd decks. The same cabin types and configuration are used for both twin and single-occupancy. Single-occupancy cabins with 2 beds are usually assigned on the 2nd deck. Standard twin cabins have 2 lower twin beds (39" x 79") attached to the opposite walls and are located on the 2nd and 3rd decks; 2 Junior suites (260 sq. feet) have a double bed attached to the wall, and a couch that could be used as an extra bed. All cabins have large windows, a combined simple shower and toilet unit, a built-in wardrobe, a table, and a small refrigerator. The cabins are clean and pleasant but rather modest by western standards. Bed linen is changed every 3 days, and towels are changed daily. Hairdryers are provided in all cabins; electrical outlets are for 220V and require round prongs. An extension cord is recommended for CPAP users.
  Facility amenities: There is a large sun deck, a reception area, a gift shop, two bars, a large conference/social room, two restaurants, a small fitness center, and recreational areas. On board services include: Bottled water served at meals; Morning coffee available for Road Scholars; Medical facilities and a medical doctor or trained nurse on board; A hair salon and massage room; Laundry services; Water boiler; Note: access to distilled water is not available. NOTE: THERE ARE NO ELEVATORS ON BOARD THE SHIP; You must be prepared to walk up/down several flights of stairs with rails, each with 10-12 steps. Credit card payments are accepted on board (MC and Visa only); There are no ATMs and no public phones on board; There is limited WiFi service on board; internet cafés are available at ship's stopover points. Personal mobile phones suitable for use in Russia are recommended to bring along for possible personal emergency communication (please verify details with your mobile phone provider). It must be remembered that this ship is comfortable, but it is still a river vessel, not a luxury river or ocean cruise ship. The ship will serve the needs of sailing along the rivers and canals with frequent stops for shore excursions along the way. In inclement weather all passengers gather inside and attend various activities on board.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: toilet and shower in one unit in standard cabins. toilet and separate shower area in Junior Suites.
  Additional nights after: n/a Not available on board the ship
  Check out time: 9:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Day 2: 3:00 pm - hotel check in starts. 6.00 pm - meet in the hotel lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Original Sokos Olympia Garden Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 14: 9:00 am -- program officially ends. Drop off at airport. You will be staying at Nikolay Chernyshevsky the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Public transportation (bus) to the program hotel in St. Petersburg is not recommended. Airport/hotel shuttle service is not reliable.
To Start of Program
  Location:  St. Petersburg
  Nearest city or town:  St.Petersburg
  Nearest airport:  LED Pulkovo
  Transportation to site: Public transportation (bus) is not recommended. If you hire a taxi at Pulkovo Airport (LED) upon arrival, please go to an official taxi stand in the arrival hall to arrange a taxi, which must be paid in rubles (equivalent of approximately $40). In order to obtain rubles, a currency exchange desk and an ATM that dispenses rubles are located in the airport arrival hall.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Moscow
  Nearest city or town:  Moscow
  Nearest highway: n/a
  Nearest airport:  DME Domodedovo
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and depart on the group date. Independent travelers are welcome to join pre-arranged group departure transfers. GROUP DEPARTURE TRANSFER SCHEDULES WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE LAST PROGRAM SITE 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight Flight From U.S.
(Wednesday, August 13)

Note: Travel overnight, arriving the next day

 Depart From: Depart USA via overnight flight to St. Petersburg.

Day 2: Arrivals at Pulkovo-St. Petersburg Airport (LED) / Transfers to hotel. Check-in
(Thursday, August 14)

Note: This program is 'Active' and is not suitable for participants using wheelchairs, walkers, or scooters. Please be prepared to walk up to 2 miles daily, up/down hills, and to stand at some museums. There are no elevators on board the ship, so be prepared to use railed stairways. Most special diets are not available during your hotel stay but are available on board the ship. The expected number of participants on this program is 34-36.

 Afternoon: Arrivals at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg. Look for the arrival agent, who will be holding a Road Scholar sign and will lead you to the bus for the hotel. This city of more than 5 million people was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 and is considered by many to be Russia’s cultural capital.

Independent travelers are welcome to join the pre-scheduled group transfers. The transfer schedule is listed in this mailing. Hotel check-in: Available from 3 pm.

Program Registration: We meet in the hotel lobby at 6 pm.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room (exact dinner time(s) to be verified by your Group Leader depending on your arrival flight time).
 Evening: Evening to rest.
Accommodations: Original Sokos Olympia Garden Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Theme of the day: History of St. Petersburg and Romanov Tsars. Visit to Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) / WWII Memorial Museum.
(Friday, August 15)

Note: Walking in the palace and park, including up/down stairs (about 2 miles). Comfortable shoes are a must. Rest areas are available.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Orientation meeting: Meet the Group Leader and your fellow participants to review the updated daily schedule and discuss responsibilities, schedule changes (if any), safety guidelines, emergency procedures, contact numbers for key staff, and answer all your questions. ................................................................ Learn about St. Petersburg's history with an on-site presentation on the history of the Romanovs, the long-reigning Russian royal family, and the city founded by Peter I (the Great). This morning join an an expert-led field trip to the town of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo, or “Tsar’s Village,”) to explore the Catherine Palace. Tsarina Elizabeth built this elaborate baroque residence in 1752 to honor the memory of her mother Katarina (not Catherine the Great), first wife of Tsar Peter I. This palace was later leveled to the foundations and rebuilt to become the main summer residence of Tsarina Catherine II (the Great). Inside the palace, experience what some have been inspired to call the “Eighth Wonder of the World", the extraordinary Amber Room, decorated with six tons of solid amber, carved and framed in gold leaf. Learn about the room’s mysterious disappearance during World War II and theories regarding its yet-unknown whereabouts, and hear about its meticulous reconstruction in 2003 by a team of Russian restoration artists.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Visit the WWII Memorial Museum dedicated to the defenders of Leningrad during the 900-day siege. See a small museum featuring historical documents and photographs.
 Dinner: In the hotel or a city restaurant.
 Evening: Evening free.
Accommodations: Original Sokos Olympia Garden Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Visit to Peterhof / Transfer to the motorship Nikolay Chernyshevsky
(Saturday, August 16)

Note: Walking about two miles in the park, including up/down hills. Rest areas are available.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning we will continue exploring the summer residences of the Russian tsars and drive to Peterhof, the stunning summer estate of the Russian tsars along the Gulf of Finland. Learn about Tsar Peter I and his vision to build a city on the Baltic Sea and to “open a window on the West” for then-medieval Russia in the early 1700s. Walk in the famous Lower Park amid more than 150 fountains and other constructions beautifully restored to their former splendor. All information is presented by a licensed expert (note: inside visits to the Grand Palace and other museums on site are not part of the visit).
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the ship, check-in. Ship's orientation.
 Dinner: Early dinner in the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Transfer to the historic Mariinsky Theater for a performance of the ballet "The Fountain of Bakhchisarai" (dress code: dressy, but not formal).
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: St. Petersburg's history and architecture by bus / Hermitage Museum
(Sunday, August 17)

Note: For city excursions, air-conditioned motor coaches are used without facilities on board are used. Rest stops are made. At the Hermitage, walk about two miles. Also be prepared to stand in the museum. Rest areas are available.(please note: the exact routing and the time spent at the Hermitage are controlled by the cruise company, not by Road Scholar).

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Built on the order of Tsar Peter I to rival Amsterdam, a city the tsar greatly admired, St. Petersburg became the new capital of Russia in 1712 and was the seat of the Russian Empire for over two centuries. Set out on a bus excursion to explore the city, affectionately dubbed the "Venice of the North" for its numerous canals, graceful bridges, and stunning beauty. Architectural and historical highlights of this excursion include the Peter and Paul Fortress and its cathedral on the site where the city was founded, as well as a drive along Nevsky Prospekt (the city’s main boulevard) to see Palace Square and the Winter Palace of the Russian tsars, now home to the Hermitage Museum. You’ll also see the outside of St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Bronze Horseman statue dedicated to Peter I, and many other important sights, leaving you with a lasting impression of the city’s grandeur.
 Lunch: In a city restaurant along the route of the bus excursion.
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy a field trip to the Hermitage Museum, one of world's greatest art galleries. This dazzling collection was founded by Tsarina Catherine II the Great in the mid-18th century. Today the museum collection is housed in six buildings, including the Winter Palace, the former residence of the tsars, where the largest collection of world-famous paintings is displayed, including works by Old Masters, Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Delight in art treasures from all corners of the world as a licensed expert leads you among the stunning staircases and opulent rooms.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening on board the ship.
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Free time in the city / Lecture onboard: “Russia Today” / Set sail
(Monday, August 18)

Note: Transfers to/from city center are provided.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the city center. The morning is yours to explore St. Petersburg and Nevsky Prospekt on your own. Consider a visit to the magnificent House of Books, built in art nouveau style, or visit the State Russian Museum nearby. Your Group Leader can provide additional suggestions on activities or sights that may interest you in St. Petersburg.
 Lunch: In the ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: This afternoon attend a lecture just for Road Scholar participants on board the vessel. In “Russia Today," the speaker will address current issues of nationality, ethnicity, religion and social matters, followed by a Q&A session. ............................................................................ SHIP SAILS at 5pm. Enjoy a welcome cocktail while meeting the ship’s staff and crew after setting sail.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening on board the ship.
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Arts and crafts lecture on board / Mandrogy Village
(Tuesday, August 19)

Note: Walk at your own pace on uneven terrain and unpaved surfaces.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation on the arts and crafts of the regions through which we sail. Arrive in Mandrogy village. Enjoy the lake region and beautiful northern forest. Take a stroll in this recreated, quaint village dotted with wooden cottages -- an open-air museum, replicating a typical rural Russian settlement of the 19th century. Free time.
 Lunch: A meal of Russian specialties ashore in Mandrogy.
 Afternoon: The ship winds down the 139-mile long Svir River and then along the southern shores of Lake Onega, one of the world's purest, and Lake Ladoga, the second- and first-largest lakes in Europe, respectively. More like inland seas than lakes, these immense bodies of water can experience waves as high as four feet during inclement weather. Glide past sandy and rocky beaches and admire beautiful shores overgrown with graceful willows, tall alder trees and stately pines.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy an on board entertainment (note: the exact dates/times of concerts on board the ship will be announced in your on-board daily schedules).
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Wooden architecture of Kizhi Island / On-board program
(Wednesday, August 20)

Note: Walking excursion on hilly and unpaved terrain requires comfortable shoes.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Arrive at Kizhi — a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 1,650 islands on Lake Onega — for an expert-led walking excursion among the island’s unique wooden churches. These fairy-tale structures on the island are a superb example of traditional Russian wooden architecture. Most spectacular among them is the Church of the Transfiguration, adorned with 22 domes built in 1714 without the use of a single nail and famed for its rare icons and iconostasis.
 Lunch: In the ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, take part in a program on board the ship.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy on-board performance.
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Lecture: “Famous Russians of the Volga and Lake Regions” / Excursion in Goritzy
(Thursday, August 21)

Note: Expected walking up to 1-2 miles on uneven and unpaved terrain.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Hear from a local expert about famous Russian artists and musicians whose lives and creations are connected to the Lake and Volga regions.
 Lunch: In the ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: Arrive at Goritzy, a small, picturesque village located near the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, which is famous for its collection of rare icons. This area is also known for its convent, which was used as a place of exile for politically unpopular ladies of nobility, including Maria Nagaya, seventh wife of Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible). She was exiled here by Boris Godunov, the notorious Russian ruler of the late 1500s. Join a local expert on an informative walking excursion in this historic farming village.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening on board the ship.
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Lecture on board: “Medieval Russia: the Reigns of the Rurik Tsars” / Excursion in Yaroslavl
(Friday, August 22)

Note: Excursion by motor coach and on foot. Walk 1-2 miles.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: This morning attend a lecture on board the vessel exclusively for Road Scholar participants: "Medieval Russia: the Reigns of the Rurik Tsars", which will be followed by a Q&A session.
 Lunch: In the ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: Afternoon: arrive in the ancient town of Yaroslavl, the second-largest city in Russia during the 17th century and the de facto capital of Russia during the Polish occupation of Moscow in 1612 (the so-called "Time of Troubles"). A motor coach excursion in this important port along both banks of the Volga River will introduce you to many noteworthy monuments of the city’s rich history, which dates to its founding in 1010 by Prince Yaroslavl the Wise, who according to legend killed a bear on the site. Of special interest here are the 13th-century Spassky Monastery, a group of 17th-century cathedrals, an elegant rotunda, and remnants of an ancient trading center. Loveliest of all is the Church of the Prophet Elijah, whose frescoes on the walls and vaulting inside the church are valuable examples of old Russian paintings. Also, visit the Museum of Russian Art, housed in the former mansion of the governor of Yaroslavl, and participate in a special event there.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: This evening, enjoy a concert on board.
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Excursion in Uglich / Captain's Farewell Dinner / On-board program
(Saturday, August 23)

Note: Walking about 1-2 miles including up the hill and on unpaved terrain.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Arrive at the ancient town of Uglich — founded in 1148 and pronounced “Ooglich” — and join a local expert for a walk through one of the most beloved towns in old Russia. The view of the city from the Volga River is especially lovely, with the blue-domed Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John's Church looming on the horizon. At the end of the 16th century, Maria Nagaya, seventh wife of Ivan the Terrible, lived in exile in the kremlin (fortress) at Uglich. It was here that Tsarevich Dmitry, son of the deceased Ivan the Terrible, met his "mysterious" death in 1591 and where the Church of St. Dmitry on the (Spilled) Blood stands today. Located within the kremlin walls is the oldest building in Uglich, the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry, which you’ll get to experience from the outside.
 Lunch: In the ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, take part in a program on board the ship.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Spend the evening at the Captain's Farewell Dinner celebrating the last sailing night on board the ship before arriving in Moscow.
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Round-table discussion: “Life in Russia Today” / Moscow's architectural highlights / Evening performance
(Sunday, August 24)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Delve into matters of life in today’s Russia during an informal round-table discussion and subsequent Q&A session -- all presented by the ship's staff.
 Lunch: In the ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Moscow and explore its cultural and historical treasures by bus while an expert teaches you about the modern life of Moscow residents. Stop along the way at Moscow University, Manezh Square, the Bolshoi Theater, the exterior of Novodevichi Convent, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and other important sights and landmarks.
 Dinner: Packed dinner in the city.
 Evening: This evening, enjoy a special choral performance in the city.
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Excursion to the Kremlin compound / Free time in the city
(Monday, August 25)

Note: Walk about two miles on cobblestone surface.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Begin your last full day in Russia with a drive to the city center for an expert-led field trip to the legendary Kremlin compound. Go inside the Kremlin walls and visit the grounds as you learn about the medieval history of Moscow and explore the fortress walls, armory, cathedrals and palace, with an opportunity to photograph the famous Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell.

Spend some free time in Moscow enjoying the UNESCO World Heritage site of Red Square, where all rulers of Russia left traces of their reigns. Here you will find the striking Kremlin Clock Tower, the Lenin Mausoleum, and the grand, multi-colored St. Basil's Cathedral, a 16th-century architectural marvel commemorating Russia's victory over the Tatars at Kazan.
 Lunch: In the ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: Continue to enjoy the day at your leisure. Your Group Leader can provide additional suggestions on activities or sights that may interest you in Moscow.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
Accommodations: Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Program ends / Departures
(Tuesday, August 26)

Note: Group Transfers start at 3am.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: At the end of the program, all participants holding air tickets from Road Scholar Travel Services will be transferred to Moscow airports. Independent travelers are welcome to join the pre-scheduled group transfers. The transfer schedule will be posted on board the ship 24 hours in advance.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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Peter the Great, His Life and World

Author: Robert Massie

Description: In this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Massie portrays the giant of history who transformed Russia from backwater tsardom into a major empire.

Romanov Riches, Russian Writers and Artists Under the Tsars

Author: Solomon Volkov

Description: Volkov effortlessly unwinds the twisted relationship between art and the royal family from the rise of the Romanovs in 1613 to their downfall in 1917, including a chapter on Catherine the Great and her era.

Russia from St. Petersburg to Moscow Map

Author: Falk Maps

Description: A detailed map of northwest Russia at a scale of 1:750,000, well-suited for a river cruise between St. Petersburg and Moscow. It covers all but the northernmost extent of the route.

Russia of the Tsars

Author: Peter Waldron

Description: Waldron recounts the exploits of Peter the Great and the Tsars and the splendor of their capital city, St. Petersburg, in this lively, well illustrated and compact overview of the largest and most diverse empire of its day.

Russia, A Concise History

Author: Ronald Hingley

Description: Well-known scholar Hingley sketches Russia's multiple transformations from her illiterate, pagan, Slavic roots to a multi-ethnic empire in this highly readable, well-illustrated brief history.

Russian Short Stories

Author: Robert Chandler (Editor)

Description: This fine collection of tales captures the sweep and soul of Russian literature, including works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Tolstoy along with lesser-known greats.


Author: Edward Rutherfurd

Description: In this absorbing, complex novel Rutherfurd transforms Russian history into an epic saga. The bestseller follows the fate of interconnected families over 800 years. Catherine the Great, Tolstoy, Pushkin and Rasputin all make appearances.

Speak, Memory

Author: Vladimir Nabokov

Description: Nabokov's richly imagined memoir wonderfully evokes cultural life among the well-to-do in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Map

Author: Berndtson & Berndtson

Description: A detailed, laminated city plan of St. Petersburg, with street index inset. Place names are in transliterated English.

Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia

Author: W. Bruce Lincoln

Description: A wonderfully written, informative portrait of St. Petersburg, focusing on the city's development in the 18th and 19th centuries as Russia's "window on the West." Highly recommended for travelers with an interest in the character and significance of the city and its monuments.

The Art and Architecture of Russia

Author: George Hamilton, Judith Gordon

Description: An elegantly written introduction to the art and architecture of Russia. Published in 1954, it's a good handbook for the traveler that goes beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg. Includes 314 black-and-white illustrations.

The Hermitage: A Journey in Time and Space

Author: Kultur Video

Description: This 116 minute documentary, directed Vladimir Ptashchenko and accompanied by orchestral music, showcases the extraordinary collections, Originally established as the private collection of the Russian Empress Catherine the Great.

The Ransom of Russian Art

Author: John McPhee

Description: McPhee tackles a rather unusual topic for him: the story of suppressed Russian art and the man who brought it to America.

The Winter Queen

Author: Boris Akunin, Andrew Bromfield (Translator)

Description: Akunin sets a suspected murder among the glitterati of late 19th-century Moscow in this first book in the series of clever detective novels starring the rascal Erast Fandorin, wildly popular in Russia. The series continues with: The Turkish Gambit (RUS263), set during the 1877 Russo-Turkish War; Murder on the Leviathan (RUS225), an homage to Christie; and The Death of Achilles (RUS291), back in Moscow. Fandorin is deputy to the governor-general of czarist Moscow in Special Assignments (RUS371), facing a serial murder and a swindler.

Vodka, A Global History

Author: Patricia Herlihy

Description: A professor of history at Brown, Patricia Herlihy tracks our fascination with this most versatile of spirits from its mysterious 14th Century Slavic origins to today's global dominance in this throughoughly entertaining, erudite and illustrated short history. A volume in the lively Edible History Series, which also includes the ideal companion: Olives, A Global History.

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