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Cruise St. Petersburg—Rostov-on-Don, 20 days, m/s Bunin
DayLocationExcursion program
1St. Petersburg Arrival and embarkation. This extraordinary city, founded by Peter the Great in 1703, is the highlight of your Russian River adventure. It is possible to have some time on your own in the city center on today’s eve.
2 City-tour: Enjoy the extravagant baroque architecture of the city center, Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square and Smolny Convent. Your guided tour also includes the Admiralty Building, Peter and Paul Fortress, and the treasure chest of world-famous art, the Hermitage Museum.
3Mandrogi A small river village with ginger-bread houses is a living fairy tale. Destroyed during WWII, Mandrogi was restored to its former glory at the end of the 20th century. Today this cozy little toy-like village is a pearl! The buildings in the village are made in Russian traditional village style. Travelers will get an up-close look at old craftsmanship here. The Museum of Russian Vodka is also a highlight. Visit to Mandrogi is probably alike to setting a foot into parallel world somewhere on the border between dreams and reality - follow instructions of your ship guides and enjoy lots of time on your own.
4Kizhi The island of Kizhi is an architectural gem within Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe. It is famous for its splendid Northern nature and for 18th century wooden buildings, restored to their original state. The magnificent Church of Transfiguration is among them. It has 22 onion domes and was built entirely without a single nail. Kizhi is one of the real Russian wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy several great hours of your walking tour around this remarkable place.
5Goritsy While touring here, visitors seem to forget reality under the influence of the medieval atmosphere of this town. It is the place of deep spiritual life of monks and of numerous ancient monasteries. The highlight of the day is a visit to one of the oldest and the most revered Russian monasteries - the Monastery of St. Cyril of the White Lake. It dates back to the 14th century, and is a home to the most exquisite icon collection in the world.
6Yaroslavl today is an important Volga River port with a population of 600,000 that stretches for 18 miles on both its banks. The city was founded in the 11th century by legendary Prince Yaroslav the Wise. The magnificent 13th century Spassky Monastery Ensemble and the Church of Elijah the Prophet are of special interest there. The frescoes on the walls inside the church make it a museum of old Russian painting. There will be a city-tour.

Optional for today: tour to city of Rostov Velikiy that once was one of spiritual and cultural centers of ancient Russia. Do not miss the fabulous view of the city from one of the banks of picturesque Nero Lake.

7Kostroma and Plyos Kostroma is one of the loveliest cities of the Golden Ring. The pride of Kostroma is Ipatyevsky Monastery founded in the 14th century. The crypt of the Monastery became the Godunovs’ Dynasty burial vault. Kostroma is one of the few Russian cities retaining the classical layout of the 18th/19th centuries, with streets and boulevards fanning out like the spokes of a wheel from a central square. During a city tour today there will be a visit to Ipatyevsky Monastery; other wonders of this lovely place are seen as well. Ship stops at Plyos in the second half of the day. It seems that time has no power over this small chamber town. The layout of the place did not have major changes since 18th century. The place is cozy and quiet, and people here lead calm and steady life of Russian province, just like century ago. The town is located on higher hills; views are just fascinating - famous artists of the past often found inspiration here that further led to masterpieces. Quite a lot of time is spent on your own today. Take a walk along the cobbled streets of this hospitable place; go up the Cathedral Hill, breathe the fresh air and take a look around… Maybe you’ll create great painting of your own afterwards? Who knows…
8Nizhny Novgorod Some call it a ‘third Russian capital’; but Kazan that is also in our itinerary claims this title as well. The city has great picturesque location at the confluence of Volga and Oka rivers. Kremlin of Nizhny Novgorod is among its most famous sites. This impregnable fortress has turned into historical monument over time, but one of the surrounding streets still strongly resembles fortification moat. Visit to beautiful local Kremlin is a part of a city-tour.
9Kazan “This city, no doubt, is the first in Russia after Moscow, - wrote Catherine the Great in 1763, - clearly, Kazan is the capital of a big kingdom”. Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan Republic; it is very diverse, modern and ancient at the same time. It is among the seven largest cities of Russia. Famous for its Kremlin and the mosque Kul-Sharif Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers. Kazan Kremlin is also visited on city-tour.
10Simbirsk (Ulianovsk) Lenin was born here. The city was a Soviet shrine for almost 70 years. The Lenin Memorial Complex includes the house in which he was born and other buildings associated with his life. The city of Ulyanovsk is also home to SUV maker UAZ and aircraft producer Aviastar, however, is one of a handful of cities that has managed to preserve the atmosphere of an old Russian province. The city-tour is going to be quite extraordinary.
11Samara Samara is a large and important historical port. Just as many well-developed cities of the past, Samara was built where two rivers merge, in order to protect inhabitants and to ensure successful trade. Modern Samara is a fusion of old trade town with well-preserved houses, the features of Soviet period and modern times featuring the Old-Russian teremok-buildings, art nouveau and gothic temples. The city-tour offers more great sights.
12Saratov Saratov was founded in the 16th century as a fortress to protect southern districts of Russian Empire. Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, began his career here and did his first air-flight. Visit the museum dedicated to Gagarin and his life. Don’t miss the Conservatoire designed in a Neo-Gothic style, historical Drama Theatre, and Radischev Art Museum with more than 20,000 exhibits. In Saratov there will be a city tour.
13Volgograd Volgograd, former Stalingrad, is the site of one of the toughest battles of the WWII. Certainly, main monuments here are related to the war and soldiers’ glory: the giant ‘Motherland’ sculpture; panoramic museum of the Battle of Stalingrad; Pavlov’s house - legendary Soviet bastion, marked as fortress on personal map of German general Paulus; Mamaev Kurgan (hill) that saw particularly fierce fighting. Certainly, Mamaev Kurgan is visited during city tour.
14CruisingThe day at leisure.
15Astrakhan The Caviar Capital or Southern Venice as it is called sometimes is really situated on 11 islands. Astrakhan may also be called the city of bridges: there are about 50 of them! You will see stunning examples of architecture. Astrakhan Kremlin with its magnificent tower clock is one of the best attractions during the city-tour.

Optional for today: tour to Volga River Delta that is the largest inland delta in Europe. Its area is a natural reserve that is home to a unique mix of species associated with European, Caucasian and Asian ecosystems. The lotus growing in the Delta has been singled out into separate specie - Caspian Lotus. It is the only place in Russia where pelicans and flamingos may be found.

16Cruising The journey to our next stop provides you with opportunities to enjoy the fresh air on outer decks and the passing by sceneries. It will be a nice day to recall what had already been seen, to have a bit of relaxation, to socialize with other travelers and to take part in daily activities of the cruise.
17Volgograd We are back to Volgograd. This day offers quite a lot of free time on your own.

Optional for today:

  • Panorama Museum “The Battle of Stalingrad” has vast collection of World War II artifacts. Among there is a rifle of famous sniper Vasily Zaytsev - he's been popularized by Western media and in the film “Enemy at the Gates”. Museum hosts the artistic panorama “The Defeat of Fascists Armies at Stalingrad” - the biggest pictorial canvas of Russia, its size is really enormous!
  • Visiting military cemetery of Rossoshka. Thousands of Soviet and German soldiers died in fierce battles of 1942-43 near the village of Bid Rossoshka. All of them are now buried at cemeteries facing each other as a sign of reconciliation. Soviet memorial was opened in 1998 and German fraternal cemetery appeared a year later.
18Volga-Don Canal. Today we are passing though the tremendous artificial waterways named the Volga-Don Canal. It is a part of the United Deep-Water System of Waterways. This canal connects the Volga and the Don rivers.
19Rostov-on-Don Rostov-on-Don is: one of the largest cities of Russia with a population of over a million people; industrial hub of Southern Russia; cultural center with a large number of universities, colleges, architectural monuments and museums; agricultural center; important river port and ‘Gateway to the Caucasus.’ It was a Cossack outpost in the 18th century, and is famous for its magnificent parks and beaches. The distance from Moscow is 1226 kilometers or a bit over 760 miles.

The place has a very nice city center. It will be visited during the city-tour today during first half of the day. Places of interest in Rostov-on-Don include Bolshaya Sadovaya Street the focal point of administrative, business and cultural life of the city; the beautiful park named after Maksim Gorky; very old site where fortress of St. Dimitry Rostovsky was situated in the 2nd half of the 18th century. Also one of the sights is the city’s picturesque quay of the River Don.

20 Time to bid farewell to your new friends and to Rostov-on-Don. Disembarkation
 
Cruise Summary
ShipM/S Ivan Bunin
Days20
Nights19
DescriptionUSD *
Suite Boat Deck7,780
Junior Suite Boat Deck7,910
Dedicated SGL Boat Deck6,200
Twin Standard Boat Deck5,120
Junior Suite Upper Deck7,370
Twin Standard Upper Deck4,750
Twin Standard Main Deck4,390
Twin Lower Deck3,990
Triple Lower Deck3,620
Port Taxes265
Twin/double cabin for SGL use+50%
* Rates are per person, based on double occupancy
DepartureDays
Year 2018
Sep 1920
cheboksary

Cheboksary

Cheboksary was first mentioned in written sources in 1469, when Russian soldiers passed here on their way to the Khanate of Kazan. In 1555, the Russians built a fortress and established a settlement here. At the end of the 17th century, Cheboksary was regarded as a major commercial city of the Volga region. Cheboksary also was noted for its 25 churches and four monasteries, and Cheboksary bells were known in London and Paris.

kazan

Kazan

"This city, no doubt, is the first in Russia after Moscow, - wrote Catherine the Great in 1763, - clearly, Kazan is the capital of a big kingdom".

Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan Republic, it is very diverse, modern and ancient at the same time. It is among the seven largest cities of Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In 2009 it was chosen as the "sports capital of Russia".

moscow

Moscow

The capital of Russia since the late 15th century, Moscow has always been a popular destination. During your stay, you will have an opportunity to see city’s world renown attractions that include the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Kremlin, St. Basils Cathedral and the Church of the Ascension at Kolomenskoye, all dating from between the 14th and 17th centuries. The options for sightseeing, the local guides will offer you in Moscow, include Red Square; the Tretyakov Gallery; the National Museum of Russian Fine Art; the Moscow Metro; and a tour of the Armoury with its spectacular and priceless collection of royal jewels, crowns, thrones, and armour of the czars. For groups, an additional optional evening entertainment and tours are available, and you are welcome to take a Moscow by Night city tour, or attend a circus or theatre performance.

nizhnii

Nizhny Novgorod

Some call Nizhny Novgorod a ‘third capital of Russia’; but Kazan that is also in our itinerary claims this title as well. Nizhny is less cosmopolitan than Moscow and St.Petersburg, and it is obviously smaller. The city has great location in the picturesque place, and lies at the confluence of Volga and Oka rivers.

ples

Ples (Plyos)

Ples (Plyos) is a town and the administrative center of Privolzhsky District of Ivanovo Oblast, Russia, situated on the right bank of the Volga River some 70 kilometers (43 mi) north-east of Ivanovo. The town was founded in 1410 by Vasili I as a border post of Muscovy.

rostov

Rostov-on-Don

Rostov-on-Don is one of the largest cities of Russian Federation with population over one million people. Area of the city is 354 sq. km., the distance from Moscow — 1226 km. It is also: the most heavily industrialized citiy of Southern Russia; cultural center with large number of universities, colleges, architectural monuments and museums; and an important river port in both passenger-oriented and industrial shipping.

samara

Samara

The city is large and very important port with deep historical background. Just as several ports of such significance that are included into our itinerary, Samara is located at the confluence of two rivers: here the Samara River flows into the Volga River. Well-developed cities of the past were often built where rivers merge, because it was easier to protect them and to trade successfully.

saratov

Saratov

The city was initially founded in the 16th century as a fortress to protect the southern districts of the Russian Empire. Saratov is the place where Yuri Gagarin the first man in space, has started his career, and has done his first air-flight.

uglich

Uglich

Uglitch is one of the oldest, and, probably, one of the most beloved Russian towns, and a place of a pilgrimage of Russian Czars. According to a local legend its origin goes back to back to 937. The view of the town as it is approached from the Volga River is especially lovely with the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John’s Church looming on the horizon.

kiev

Volgograd

Formerly named Stalingrad, is the site of one of the most important battles of the WWII. Certainly, the two main monuments of the city are related to the war: the giant “Motherland” sculpture and the panoramic museum dedicated to the famous Battle of Stalingrad. There are other monuments in the city as well, including the Kazan Cathedral, the “Old Sarepta” – the museum of former religious colony.

yaroslavl

Yaroslavl

Stretching for 18 miles on both banks of the Volga River, Yaroslavl is an important Volga port with a population of 600,000. It was founded in the 11th century by Prince Yaroslav the Wise and today retains many noteworthy monuments of its colorful past.

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