Jun 11, 2016

Unlock the mysteries of Russia

Follow the longest waterway in Europe through the heart of this most enigmatic region.

Russia is a country with an extraordinarily rich and captivating history. To travel along the Volga River and some of its tributaries between the country’s two great cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow is a step back in time. From architectural splendours to the opulence of fine art, cruise through the beating heart of this captivating country on the 15 Day Jewels of Russia and explore the wonders of one of the most influential cultures in the world.

Commonly referred to as ‘the Venice of the North’, be captivated by the romance of Russia’s most beautiful city, St. Petersburg. With its network of canals and over four hundred bridges, it's one of the greatest urban creations of the 18th century. The historic centre of the city is rich in architectural wealth, with opulent palaces and extravagant churches. Within the magnificent Winter Palace formerly the official residence of the Romanov tsars you’ll find the Hermitage Museum. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it contains a staggering three million pieces of art.

South of St. Petersburg, the town of Pushkin is home to the striking Catherine Palace. Completed in 1756 for Catherine the Great, the palace is a fine example of late Baroque style architecture. The spectacular blue and white façade stretching for more than 325 metres is gilded with more than 100 kilograms of gold. Wander the manicured gardens and explore the spectacular great hall, where Catherine held elaborate costume parties. St. Petersburg was home to some of the world’s greatest composers and choreographers, including Marius Petipa and Pyotr Tchaikovsky, famous for their ballet compositions. A visit to Russia would not be complete without a ballet performance. Be enchanted by an exclusive private Russian ballet performance at the last Imperial palace to be built, the grand Vladimir Palace.

As you journey along the mighty Volga, relax on board your luxury boutique ship, Scenic Tsar, before arriving at the 15th century settlement of Kizhi Island.

This open-air museum contains a collection of more than 80 historical structures. Undoubtedly the highlight is World Heritage-listed Kizhi Pogost, a picturesque ensemble of wooden churches built in the 18th century. The 22-dome Transfiguration Church is an architectural feat, constructed without a single nail. The Church of the Intercession and the octagonal wooden bell tower are equally impressive.

Located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers, Yaroslavl is one of the most well-preserved cities in Russia. A major commercial centre from the 11th century this neo-classical city features more onion-domed churches than any other in Russia. The emerald-domed Church of Elijah the Prophet and the gilded towers of the Assumption Cathedral are simply masterful constructions. 

Sail along the Moskva River into the fascinating and mysterious capital, Moscow. Take in the awe-inspiring Kremlin, a military history museum and discover the unique Moscow Metro system. It’s a city with astonishing energy.

At the very heart and soul of the city is Red Square. Bordered by Russia’s most iconic structure, the exquisite St Basils Cathedral, and The Kremlin - its oldest and most important building - is the government centre and the official residence of the president.

Your heart will skip a beat as you spend an evening at an internationally renowned Russian circus. Performers will showcase their sensational skills in death defying acts. Russia is famed for its long and successful history with space exploration. Meet a real life Cosmonaut during a private Q&A session on a visit to the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics and discover the impressive collection of Soviet and Russian space-related paraphernalia. Russia is a melting pot of exquisite architecture, turbulent history, and mindboggling wonders.