KEMPINSKI MOIKA 22, St. Petersburg
Join us for the trip of a lifetime on a luxurious cruise on the Volga from St. Petersburg to Moscow on the Volga Dream. http://www.volgadream.com/cruises/2017/gold/
It is crucial that we sign up soon and book our staterooms since these cruises do get sold out and we want to have the best available choices as to staterooms. Prices start at $3,295 However, you have to add on airfare which I believe we can get for under $1000. We also have to obtain visas. That info is at the bottom of the page. Right now Volga Dream is offering a 5% discount if we book by August 31st. My guess is that it may get extended to September but I could be wrong.
We'll try to pair everyone with a roommate if they prefer sharing. We'll also try to arrange flights for those who are interested in flying out of JFK...and, if possible, arrange transfers to the airport.
We will have a meeting for those who sign up in September or early October. We had a group from meetup go to China last year and everyone had a wonderful time.
The Volga Dream gets rave reviews from guests, unlike many of the other Russian ships.
We'll be doing the following itinerary in reverse...starting in St. Petersburg and ending in Moscow:
Gold Program - Detailed Program
DAY 1. MOSCOW
Upon arrival in Moscow, transfer to the deluxe Marriott Aurora ***** located in the historic city centre near the Bolshoi Theatre and Moscow Kremlin. In the evening gather for the warm-up meeting with your guide (available at the hotel lobby from 6pm to 9pm) or spend the rest of the day exploring central Moscow on your own.
DAY 2. MOSCOW
City Tour / Red Square / GUM Department Store / Novodevichy Cemetery
9:30am – 2:30pm
Begin the day with an orientation city tour of Moscow and proceed to the famous Novodevichi Cemetery which holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, and scientists.
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore Moscow on your own or seek out a cultural performance at one of the city–s renowned venues.
City tour includes: Red Square walking tour, St. Basil's Cathedral (photo stop w/o entrance), GUM Department Store (entrance), Cathedral of Christ the Savior (entrance if time and availability allows), Novodevichy Cemetery (entrance).
DAY 3. MOSCOW
Kremlin / Armoury Museum
9:30am – 2:30pm
This morning enter the Kremlin for a visit to the Armoury Museum to view its collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armour and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs. Continue to the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel cathedrals.
The balance of the day is at leisure for independent exploration or optional tours at your choice
DAY 4. MOSCOW
Tretyakov Gallery / Metro Ride / Embarkation on the Volga Dream
12:00pm – 5:30pm
This morning is free for an independent walk or lunch in hotel near-by area.
At noon, check-out from your hotel and proceed to Tretyakov Gallery, the first museum dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art. Explore Moscow’s Metro, known for its architectural splendour and transfer to the awaiting luxurious MS Volga Dream to begin sailing along the Russian waterways. Gather for the Captain's welcome reception and dinner as we begin our cruise.
Volga Dream Experience: Bread, Salt & Vodka Welcome Aboard Ceremony
Meals: B, D
DAY 5. UGLICH
After a full day of cruising through forested countryside, dock in the ancient trading town of Uglich, one of the spokes of Russia–s renowned Golden Ring. Explore the impressive Church of St. Dmitri-on-the-Blood, erected on the site where Dmitri, son of Ivan the Terrible, was murdered in 1591, and attend an enchanting concert of choral music at St. John–s Church.
Volga Dream Experience: Documentary Film –Construction of the Moscow Canal–
Meals: B, L, D
DAY 6. YAROSLAVL
Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is one of the oldest cities in central Russia and the Volga–s first port. In the Spassky Monastery see the Transfiguration of the Savior and admire the mosaics at the Church of Elijah the Prophet. Take part in a costumed reception at the governor–s house, and then re-board the MS Volga Dream in time for lunch.
Volga Dream Experience: Costumed Russian Tea Ceremony & Russian Cooking Class
Meals: B, L, D
DAY 7. GORITSY
In the tiny settlement of Goritsy, visit the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in 1397, and now home to one of the best collections of Russian icons in the world. After a guided tour, continue cruising toward majestic Lake Onega.
Volga Dream Experience: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting
Meals: B, L, D
DAY 8 . KIZHI
The Kareliya region, which spans the area from St. Petersburg to the Arctic Circle, is a vast wilderness of forest and water. Discover Lake Onega, fed by 58 rivers and home to 1,369 islands, including Kizhi. See a collection of ancient Russian wooden houses and windmills, and the famous Transfiguration church, built in 1714 without a single nail.
Volga Dream Experience: Piano Concert – pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov
Meals: B, L, D
DAY 9. ST. SVIR RIVER AND THE VILLAGE OF MANDROGI
While cruising along the 139-mile-long Svir River, appreciate the quiet understated beauty of a region that has long inspired artists and poets. The ship passes quaint riverside hamlets before reaching Lake Ladoga. Step ashore for a brief visit to the vacation village of Mandrogi to experience daily life in a quaint wooden village on your own.
Volga Dream Experience: Barbeque on the Open Deck
Meals: B, L, D
DAY 10. ST. PETERSBURG
City Tour / Peter and Paul Fortress / Hermitage Museum
9:30am – 5:30pm
Arrive in St. Petersburg via the Neva River and disembark the MS Volga Dream . Enjoy a city tour of St. Petersburg, including Peter and Paul Fortress, burial place of the Romanov monarchs, and Nevsky Prospect, where fine shops, cafes, and museums are found. Following lunch enter the renowned Hermitage Museum, home to one of the most important collections of European art in the world.
This evening check-in at the five-star Kempinski Moika 22.
City Tour includes: Peter & Paul Cathedral (entrance), Split of Basil Island (walking tour), St. Isaac Cathedral (photo stop), Spilled Blood Church (photo stop), Nevskiy Prospekt drive.
Meals: B, L
DAY 11. ST. PETERSBURG
Peterhof: Park and Bath Cottage
10:00am – 3:00pm
Begin today at the meticulously restored Peterhof, St. Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular Imperial estate, often cited as the Versailles of Russia. Visit the authentic Bath Cottage and stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 fountains of various forms and styles and four cascades, majestic palaces and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes.
The balance of the day is at leisure for independent exploration.
DAY 12. ST. PETERSBURG
Catherine–s Palace / Amber Room / Podvorie Restaurant
9:30am – 5:30pm
This morning travel to Catherine the Great’s Palace, which houses the extraordinary Amber Room, its six tons of solid amber deftly carved and framed in gold leaf. Once deemed the “eighth wonder of the world,” the room was stripped by the Nazis in 1941, but majestically reconstructed in honour of St. Petersburg’s 300th birthday.
After lunch at Podvorie, a restaurant in a traditional Russian log house, return to St. Petersburg and visit Faberge museum, which contains world's largest collection of works by Carl Faberge, including 9 Easter eggs commissioned by the Russian royal family.
Meals: B, L
DAY 13. ST. PETERSBURG
This morning check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight.
Volga Dream Platinum - Cruise Map
MOSCOW – MARRIOTT AURORA ROYAL HOTEL
Built in 1999 The Marriott Aurora Royal Hotel is one of the most luxurious in town: with the Red Square and the Kremlin as well as the famous Bolshoi Theatre in walking distance, the hotel has the capital’s commercial, political and cultural heart literally on the doorstep. With its arches and spires, the hotel gloriously blends traditional Moscow with modern conveniences.
ST. PETERSBURG – KEMPINSKI MOIKA 22
The Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 is located in a charming and historical area, in the very heart of St Petersburg, on the Moika River, opposite the renowned Hermitage Museum and Palace Square. The Hotel is just two minutes walk from the Nevsky Prospect and close to all major sights and shopping.
Check-in to the hotels starts at 15:00, check-out ends before 12:00.
All arrangements are subject to availability and modification if necessary. Weather, heavy traffic and heavy crowds may affect the order of your sightseeing program.
5 Distinct Advantages of Volga Dream
1 Intimate Cruise Experience The passenger capacity of our ship is only 109 guests. This is much fewer than most of the other ships can offer and results in a very intimate family atmosphere on board. Also our shore excursions are conducted by best and carefully selected guides with a maximum group size of 25 guests on the Gold program and just 15 guests on the Platinum program. It means that during the cruise you will easily strike up new aсquaintances and become part of our united Volga Dream family.
2 Luxury Downtown Hotels Why spending half of your trip aboard the vessel moored in the outskirts of Moscow and St. Petersburg? At the Volga Dream we are convinced that while in Moscow and St. Petersburg our guests should stay at great hotels which are perfectly located in the historic heart of the city. You won't waste your precious hours in traffic jams getting from the river port to the city center. Instead you will be living within a short walking distance of all major attractions, theaters and restaurant and will enjoy extra time for your independent exploration of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
3 Dedicated Hand-Picked Crew. Family owned and operated, the Volga Dream offers a truly Russian cruise experience. All our crew members are Russian natives fluent in English and hand-picked by the Owner, whom you can frequently meet aboard the ship. Proudly, the Volga Dream is famous for her hard working and very hospitable personnel who take care of every aspect of your life on board and do their best to organize a seamless journey for you.
4 Personal Approach to Every Client. You would like to customize your tour and arrive earlier or extend your journey for another couple of days after the group tour ends? We are here to arrange the ideal river journey for you. According to your preferences we can book extra nights at hotels, arrange optional sightseeing tours, diversify your evening activities with theater or circus visits, reschedule your airport transfers, offer convenient flight solutions and take complete care of your Russian visas.
5 Rich On Board Program Get ready for an exciting journey into the Russian past with professional lecturers, try the most delicious dishes of traditional Russian cuisine, enjoy the masterpieces of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and learn some useful phrases in Russian - we guarantee you will find an amusement to your liking! Our on board program includes four fascinating lectures by Russian professors about Russian history and politics, a costumed Russian tea ceremony, Russian cooking class, lessons of the Russian language, festival of Russian cuisine, vodka tasting party, piano concert of Russian classical music, Matreshka painting master class, and many other activities aimed at enhancing your knowledge of our outstanding country.
About MS Volga Dream
The MS Volga Dream entered service during the spring of 2007 after a comprehensive two-year renovation. This elegant vessel is designed in classic decor with a slight Russian touch and accommodates just 100 passengers. She is the best choice for travelers seeking intimate cruise experience and personalized service.
Your Stateroom / Suite
50 staterooms are located over four decks and range from Standard Cabins to Deluxe Staterooms. On the upper 2 decks - Promenade and Sun, you will find spacious Junior Suites and luxurious forward looking Owner's Suite, which has a private terrace and separate exit to the open deck.
All cabins are equipped with private bathroom with shower, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, direct dial telephone, satellite flat screen television and minibar. Additional comforts provided include bathrobes, slippers, hairdryer, bathroom accessories kit, bottled water (replenished daily) and welcome fruit basket.
Spread over three decks, the onboard facilities include a delightful restaurant which accommodates all guests in one sitting. The lounge is a pleasant space for relaxation with large panoramic windows and bar area.
On the large, spacious Sun deck you will find comfortable deck furniture. There is also a library which features board games, an outside bar with comfortable deck furniture, fitness centre and sauna. Satellite Internet is available throughout the ship via the Wi-Fi connection.
The single sitting dining room offers the best of traditional Russian cuisine and international choices, accompanied by complementary wine and soft drinks.
Every day a delightful buffet lunch or set menu choice is served in the restaurant. Dinner is a served four or five course meal. Onboard there is also a luxurious lounge and bar where a pianist plays each evening and afternoon tea is served each day.
The MS Volga Dream has plenty to keep you occupied between trips ashore. A diverse range of onboard activities include cooking demonstrations, Russian language lessons, documentary films, Tchaikovski and Rachmaninov piano concerts, matrioshka paining classes [painTing] and Russian costumed dinner with vodka tasting.
Our special pride are the speakers who are genuinely connected to Russia by their present professional interest. You will learn about Russia's modern history, lifestyle, education and employment and will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and receive comprehensive answers.
Comprehensive Support & Visa Preparation Service
Our company has professional and dedicated Visa Department team assigned with the sole task of making it easy for our customers to obtain all visas needed. Visas processed by our Visa Department have a 99.9% approval rate. More importantly, nearly all of them approved after just first submission. To assist our customers from outside the US, we cooperate with leading visa agencies in Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. It makes the visa process comfortable and efficient for our clients all over the world.
Applying for Visa on Your Own
Customers who think of applying on their own can visit official Embassy websites for more instructions (links on the right). Please note, official statistics shows that about 70% of submission "on your own" fail after the first attempt due to complex requirements for visa documentation. First you will need to obtain a visa invitation/voucher from authorized company in Russia, then apply online at http://visa.kdmid.ru and submit your documents with original passport to Russian visa center in person. Visa requirements are very strict and those visa centres will find many reasons why your application is incorrect and require to re-submit for additional fees. The whole procedure can hardly be called pleasant and efficient. That’s why we advise to use our visa preparation services and our Visa department will be glad to take all difficulties and formalities with visa arrangements upon themselves.
OUR PAID VISA PROCESSING & VISA INVITATION SERVICES Country of residence Australia Brazil Canada Hong Kong Mexico New Zealand United States South Africa Other countries Destination country Russia Please select your country of residence and which country you will be traveling to to see the available visa services.DOUBLE-ENTRY TOURIST VISA FOR US CITIZENS
Tourist regular visa valid for 30 days, allows to visit Russia twice. Price includes: Consulate fees, visa invitation, service and mailing fees. Standard processing time is 10-15 days. Note: expedited service is available for extra fees.
ApplyEXPEDITED TOURIST VISA FOR USA CITIZENS
Double-entry tourist visa valid for 30 days. Price includes: visa invitation, consulate charges, mailing and service fees. The standard processing time is 4-5 business days.
ApplyRUSSIA TOURIST VISA FOR CANADIAN CITIZENS
Single-entry regular visa valid during the whole stay in Russia. Price includes: Consulate fees, visa invitation, service and mailing fees. Standard processing time is 10-15 days, depending on the province of your residence. Note: double -entry and expedited one is available for extra fees.
ApplyTOURIST 3-YEAR MULTI-ENTRY VISA FOR US CITIZENS
Tourist multiple-entry visa valid for 3 years. Price includes: consulate fees, visa invitation, cover letter, service and mailing fees. Standard processing time is 1-2 weeks, the emergency service is not available. NOTE: in order to apply your passport should have two consecutive blank pages, which lie side by side when the passport is open.
ApplyDOCUMENT PREPARATION SERVICE + VISA INVITATION
Professional review of your visa application by our visa specialist. All you need is to fill out our convenient only visa application form and submit it to us. We will review it, make corrections as required by Russian Consulate and send you final document together with other instructions required within 2-3 business days. NOTE: Visa invitation is included in the price.