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Russian River Voyages Between Moscow and St. Petersburg

Program Number: 14304RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/19/2015 - 8/31/2015; 5/25/2016 - 6/6/2016; 7/13/2016 - 7/25/2016; 8/10/2016 - 8/22/2016; 9/7/2016 - 9/19/2016;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Russia
Price starting at: $3,762.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 29; 11 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Immerse yourself in the vast country of Russia through the prism of life along its waterways. Learn about Russia’s imperial past in St. Petersburg, experience the Lakes, canals and Volga region’s traditional villages, and explore the dynamic city of Moscow. Expert-led talks and walking excursions reveal Russia’s fascinating history and culture, and delve into its current issues.

Activity Particulars

Walking about two miles a day, up/down hills and steps, on cobblestone surfaces and uneven terrain; standing in some museums, no wheelchair/walker accessibility.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

St. Petersburg, 3 nights; sailing aboard M/S Mstislav Rostropovich, 5 nights; Moscow, 3 nights.

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

Days 2-5: Arrival Saint Petersburg / transfer to hotel/ embark M/S Mstislav Rostropovich.

Discover this magnificent Baltic Sea port city, founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703. Learn about the Romanov Tsars during field trips to the Peterhof Estate-Park and opulent Catherine Palace. Examine the art treasures from all parts of the world during an expert-led visit to the State Hermitage Museum. Learn about the 900-day siege in Leningrad during WWII, and discuss the modern life and contemporary issues during a lecture on "Russia today." Enjoy an evening performance. Lodging: Comfortable Four-star hotel (two nights) and on board the ship (one night).

Day 6: Mandrogy:

Experience the whimsical wooden cottages of this recreated 19th-century Russian village and Russian style picnic lunch ashore. Sail down the picturesque winding Svir River and into lovely Lake Onega. During on board presentation learn about Russian musicians and artists who were inspired by the beauty of area we are sailing through.

Day 7: Kizhi:

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kizhi on an island on Lake Onega, where you find stunning 18th-century wooden churches and an octagonal clock tower. Participate in an onboard presentations on local arts and crafts and traditions, learn the steps of Russian folk dances and attend Russian language classes.

Day 8: Goritsy:

Today’s shore excursion takes you to the Goritsy Monastery of Resurrection, a Russian Orthodox monastery that holds a collection of rare, beautiful icons. Also, participate in an organized walk in the village; meet the villagers, visit their houses and a local school, and learn of the local lifestyle.

Day 9: Uglich:

Attend a lecture on board dedicated to Russian medieval History. Join a local expert leading a field trip in this quaint town, over a thousand years old. Learn about Russian turbulent medieval history during the 'Time of Troubles', visit the local kremlin (fortress) and the cathedral. See the site of the dramatic historic events which took place here in the medieval time.

Days 10-13: Moscow / disembark / transfer to hotel/ departure:

Complete your adventure in Russia’s energetic capital. Explore the legendary Kremlin compound and Red Square. At the Kremlin Armory chamber, view Russia’s crown jewels, Fabergé eggs and more. Spend a morning with an expert at the Tretyakov picture gallery housing world's largest collection of Russian art. Participate in a political discussion addressing current issues. Enjoy an evening performance and savor time on your own for independent discoveries in the city. Lodging: Onboard the ship (one night) and at a four-star hotel (two nights).

ms Lev Tolstoy

Built in 1979 by skilled Austrian shipwrights for high-ranking Soviet officials to host foreign dignitaries, this riverboat is beautifully crafted. It has been refitted with all the modern amenities. Public areas include two restaurants, two bars, a reading room and an observation lounge. Continental and regional specialties are served daily.


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
  St. Petersburg, Russia
Various ports of calls, Russia
Moscow, Russia
7 nights
   Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
  Moscow, Russia 2 nights
 Original Sokos Olympia Garden Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Sokos Hotels are part of 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, opened in 2008. It is a modern and comfortable 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 Nevsky Prospekt. The hotel is conveniently located within walking or a short walking and driving distance to the Trinity Cathedral, the Yusoupov Palace Museum, the Mariinsky Theater and other famous museums and theaters.
  Ship Information: N / A
  Contact info: Bataysky pereulok 3-A
St. Petersburg,   Russia
phone: +7 812 335 2270
  Room amenities: The hotel has 348 comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped guest rooms, all with individual climate control and complimentary WiFi access, and all the modern amenities of a European, 4-star hotel: flat screen TVs, modern private facilities, hair dryers, and other features.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has 348 comfortable rooms, a pleasant lobby, excellent meeting and conference facilities, a cozy restaurant and a lively bar. It has a well-equipped fitness center and sauna, boasts 14 hi-tech meeting venues, and a full range of standard business and leisure facilities. There are a number of shops and restaurants near the hotel, and the nearest Metro station is directly across a lovely, small park. The hotel has 24 hour security and English speaking staff.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: approx $250 /twin Contact Road Scholar travel service for additional nights prior to the program. or book directly via Internet :
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

Type: Cabin
  Description: For 7 nights your floating hotel will be your river cruiser. Within the river cruise fleet operating in Russia the motor ship 'Lev Tolstoy' is regarded as a higher category river cruise vessel. This ship was built in Austria in 1979 using high-quality materials. The M/S Lev Tolstoy was originally built for high-level Kremlin functions and for hosting foreign dignitaries. Today, she is one of the top river cruisers in Russia, with beautiful décor, well-appointed cabins, elegant public areas, and wide circular stairs. The M/S 'Leo Tolstoy' accommodates a total of 160 passengers. The ship is completely refurbished, freshly painted, featuring new carpeting in the cabins and all public areas and 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 – a 3-passenger deck vessel. Length - 380 feet, Width – 50 feet, Draft -- 9.2 feet, Speed – 16 mph, Passenger capacity – 160. The ship is equipped with the latest navigational system and satellite phones. WiFi service on board where available; Communication: radio and mobile phones (normally used for emergencies only). Electrical service: 220 V, requiring round prong sockets and an extension cord for CPAP users. The ship is fully air-conditioned. The ship has 6 two-room suites (not used for this program), 7 Junior suites with double beds on the 3d deck, 52 standard twin cabins on the Main (2nd) deck, and Middle (3rd) deck, 8 single cabins (not used for this program, as standard twin cabins are used instead on the 2nd and 3rd decks), and several triple cabins (not used for this program).
  Contact info: St. Petersburg River Station. Terminal Utkina Zavod
Oktyabrskaya Naberezhnaya 31
St. Petersburg,   Russia
phone: +7 x
  Room amenities: For this program we have reserved 4 Junior Suites (160 sq. feet) and standard twin cabins with 2 twin lower beds (110 sq. feet) on the 3rd decks. The same cabin types and configuration are used for both twin and single-occupancy. Single-occupancy cabins with 2 beds may be assigned on the 2nd deck. Standard twin cabins have 2 lower twin beds (37" x 79") attached to the opposite walls and are located on the 2nd and 3rd decks; 4 Junior Suites (160 sq. feet) have a double bed (2 twin beds can be put together, 37" x 79" each) or attached to the wall. All cabins have a large window (2 large windows in Junior Suites), a comfortable toilet/sink/shower unit, a built-in wardrobe, a table, and a small refrigerator. The cabins are clean and pleasant but rather small 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 strongly recommended for CPAP users.
  Facility amenities: There is a spacious reception area, a wide circular staircase, a large sun deck, a gift shop, two bars, a large conference/social room, a nicely furnished restaurant, a small fitness center with a small indoor swimming pool and sauna, a small library/TV room, and other recreational areas. On-board services include: 3 meals daily offering 2-3 choices for the main course; bottled water served at meals, and additional water in the cabins; coffee station; glass of house wine at dinner; additional alcoholic beverages for purchase; medical doctor or trained nurse; hair salon and massage room; laundry services; hot water heater; NOTE: there is NO access to distilled water; NO ELEVATOR ON BOARD. 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 cafes are available at ship's stopover points. Personal cell phones programmed for use in Russia are recommended to bring along for possible personal emergency communication (the use of your personal mobile phones should be cleared with your mobile phone provider). It must be remembered that this ship is comfortable, but it is still a river vessel, not a luxury ocean cruise ship. The ship serves the needs of sailing along the rivers, canals and lakes 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/sink and a shower area separated by a curtain -- all in one unit, of the same configuration in standard cabins and in Junior Suites.

 Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Moscow Marriott Tverskaya Hotel is housed in a beautiful, modern building in the city center; it is a rather small and comfortable hotel, recently renovated (162 non-smoking rooms and suites). It is located within walking distance to Red Square, the Kremlin, and the Bolshoi Theatre (approximately 2,5 miles). Public transportation (metro [subway] and trolleybus) is easily available. This is a totally non-smoking hotel.
  Ship Information: N/A see a separate page
  Contact info: 34 1 Tverskaya -Yamskaya Street
Moscow,   Russia
phone: +7-495-258-3000
  Room amenities: Guest rooms are air conditioned, spacious, well appointed and quiet, most of them have 2 twin beds, Guest rooms include all amenities of a modern hotel including flat screen TVs, modern bathrooms with standard amenities and a hair dryer, telephone and Internet connection (fee allies in standard rooms). Free Internet connection is available in the hotel lobby.
  Facility amenities: This beautiful hotel has a nice lobby, two nice restaurants, a lobby bar, free Internet connection on the ground floor and available for a fee in guest rooms, foreign exchange office, ATM machine in the lobby, small business center, concierge service, room service, laundry service, a small fitness center and health club, and safe deposit boxes at the front desk. This is a non-smoking hotel. It employs English-speaking staff and offers 24-hour security.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $300/twin approx. 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 by cash for the additional nights. Room rates are subject to change and can only be confirmed at time of reservation.

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 13: 9:00 am -- program officially ends. Drop off at airport. You will be staying at Marriott Tverskaya Hotel 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 Original Sokos Garden 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: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and arrive on the group date. GROUP ARRIVAL TRANSFER SCHEDULES WILL BE CONFIRMED IN THE FINAL MAILING PACKET SENT 5 WEEKS PRIOR TO THE PROGRAM DEPARTURE. Public transportation (bus) is not recommended. If you hire a taxi at Pulkovo Airport (LED) upon arrival, please go to one of the several official taxi stands in the arrival hall, where you can prepay the fare to the hotel in rubles (ca. $60). In order to obtain rubles, a currency exchange desk and ATMs that dispense 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. 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 19)

Note: Travel overnight, arriving the next day

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

Day 2: Arrival at St. Petersburg airport / Hotel Check-in
(Thursday, August 20)
 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 if space on the vehicles permits. The transfer schedule will be announced in the final mailing 5-6 weeks prior to departure. Hotel check-in: Available from 3 p.m.

Program Registration: We meet in hotel lobby at 6pm.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Orientation: Meet the group leader and your fellow participants. We will 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. This is an 'Active' program, and not suitable for participants using wheelchairs, walkers or scooters. Please be prepared to walking up to 2 miles daily and also standing at some museums. No elevators on board the ship. Expected number of participants on this program is 35-40.
Accommodations: Original Sokos Olympia Garden Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Theme of the day: “Historical Overview of St. Petersburg and the Romanov Dynasty” / Tsarskoye Selo / Memorial Museum of the Defenders of Leningrad / Evening performance
(Friday, August 21)

Note: Walking in a park. Comfortable shoes are a must. Rest areas are available.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Begin exploring St. Petersburg with an on-site presentation on the history of the Romanovs - this long-reigning Russian royal family and the city founded by Peter I, (the Great). This morning we take an expert-led field trip to the town of Pushkin, site of the 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, 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 the story of its meticulous reconstruction in 2003 by a team of Russian restoration artists.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon visit the Memorial museum dedicated to the Defenders of Leningrad during the 900 day siege. See the impressive monument and a small museum featuring old documents and photographs relating the heartrending story of the city’s 900-day siege during World War II.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Attend an evening performance.
Accommodations: Original Sokos Olympia Garden Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Visit to Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) / Transfer to the motorship Lev Tolstoy/Lecture on board
(Saturday, August 22)

Note: Walking two miles in the palace grounds. Rest areas are available.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Continue exploring the Royal life style of the Romanovs with an expert led visit to Peterhof - the stunning summer residence 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. (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 and embark the motorship Lev Tolstoy After a short rest attend a lecture on "Russia today" prepared for Road Scholars.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Attend an orientation introducing you to the vessel and enjoy a free evening onboard the ship.
Accommodations: MS LEV TOLSTOY
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: St. Petersburg's history and architecture by bus / Hermitage Museum/SET SAIL
(Sunday, August 23)

Note: For city excursions air-conditioned motorcoaches are used with no facilities onboard. Rest stops are made. At the Hermitage, walk two miles, standing in the museum. Rest areas are available.

 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 an excursion by bus 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 sites, 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 the Old Masters, Impressionists and Post-Impressionists) are displayed. 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: SET SAIL AT 7PM Enjoy an evening program onboard the ship.
Accommodations: MS LEV TOLSTOY
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Arts and crafts lecture onboard / Mandrogy Village
(Monday, August 24)

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

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation on the arts and crafts of the regions we are sailing through. 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, reproducing a typical rural Russian settlement of the 19th century. Free time. Note: this is a mandatory (technical) stop over required for all river vessels.
 Lunch: A shish-kebab lunch is served ashore in Mandrogy Village.
 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 onboard entertainment.
Accommodations: MS LEV TOLSTOY
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Wooden architecture of Kizhi Island / Lecture on Famous Russian artists and musicians of the Volga and Lake Regions
(Tuesday, August 25)

Note: Walking excursion 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 discovered 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, attend a lecture prepared for Road Scholars.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy an entertainment on board.
Accommodations: MS LEV TOLSTOY
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Lecture: Lecture onboard: “Medieval Russia:/ Excursion in Goritzy
(Wednesday, August 26)

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 life 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 from Ouglich 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 onboard the ship.
Accommodations: MS LEV TOLSTOY
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Excursion in Uglich / Captain's Farewell Dinner/ On-board program
(Thursday, August 27)

Note: Walking on uneven terrain.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: Arrive at the ancient town of Uglich — founded in 1148 and pronounced “Ouglich” — 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 onboard the ship.
 Dinner: In the ship's dining room.
 Evening: Spend the evening at the Captain's Farewell Dinner celebrating the last sailing night onboard the ship before arriving in Moscow.
Accommodations: MS LEV TOLSTOY
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Round-table discussion: “Life in Russia Today” / Moscow's architectural highlights / excursion of the Kremlin grounds
(Friday, August 28)

Note: Walking up to 2 miles including on cobble stone surface

 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.
 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 sites and landmarks.__________________ Continue your afternoon in Moscow with a 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.
 Dinner: On board the ship of Packed dinner in the city.
 Evening: Evening free to enjoy Moscow independently, if desired, or relax on board.
Accommodations: MS LEV TOLSTOY
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: A vist to Armory chamber/ a walk in Red Square/ Transfer to hotel/ Evening performance
(Saturday, August 29)

Note: Walk up to two miles including on cobble stone surface.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: An expert led visit to the Armory Chamber in the Kremlin Compound, housing a rich collection of royal jewels, of all eras, including famous Faberge eggs and many other treasures of the Russian tsars.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue to enjoy the day at your leisure, or return to the hotel to relax before the evening.
 Dinner: In a city restaurant.
 Evening: Attend an evening performance.
Accommodations: Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: The Tretyakov Picture Gallery/Free afternoon
(Sunday, August 30)

Note: Walk up to 2 miles in museum. Rest areas are available.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant
 Morning: An expert led visit to the Armory Chamber in the Kremlin Compound, housing a rich collection of royal jewels, of all eras, including famous Faberge eggs and many other treasures of the Russian tsars.
 Lunch: In a city restaurant
 Afternoon: Fee time in the city to visit a museum of your choice or just wonder around a the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Krasnaya Ploshchad (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.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Departures
(Monday, August 31)

Note: Transfers to airports

 Breakfast: At Hotel restaurant
 Morning: Program ends. Transfers to airport for all participants holding air tickets issued by Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join the pre-arranged group bus transfer(s), or arrange a taxi at the hotel desk. Transfer schedule to be announced by the Group Leader 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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Description: A gripping eyewitness tale of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Remnick, the Washington Post reporter on the scene, combines fine historical scholarship with great storytelling.

Moscow Map

Author: ITMB

Description: A handy, folding map of Moscow.

Odyssey Guide Moscow, St. Petersburg & The Golden Ring

Author: Masha Nordbye, Patricia Lanza (Photographer)

Description: A comprehensive guide to the art, culture and history of two great Russian cities, filled with maps and fine color photographs.

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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