Top Russian Cruise Rivers Tours & Vacations 2024/2025...

Russian Cruise Rivers Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

1 Russian Cruise Rivers trips. Compare tour itineraries from 7 tour companies. 15 reviews.

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Top Russian Cruise Rivers Attractions

  • Visiting Red Square in Moscow, home to the Kremlin and onion-domed, colorfully painted St. Basil’s Cathedral.
  • Being enthralled by the art in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, one of Europe’s greatest museums.
  • Touring the lavish palaces  in St. Petersburg that were occupied by the Romanovs prior to the Russian Revolution..
  • Seeing the traditional painted wooden homes and churches in the well-preserved Golden Ring villages outside of Moscow.
  • Cruising along the Volga, Russia’s legendary -- and longest -- river.
  • Basking in the sheer solitude of Russia’s northern lakes and rivers, a world apart from booming, traffic-plagued Moscow.
  • Passing through seven locks on the Volga-Baltic Waterway, which connects the Volga to the Baltic Sea and St. Petersburg.

Russian Cruise Rivers Tours & Travel Guide

Russian Cruise Rivers Attractions & Landmarks Guide

The Volga, Europe’s longest river and a fixture of Russian folklore and song, is just one leg of the six-day voyage between Moscow and St. Petersburg, the most popular Russian cruise itinerary. Along with museums and iconic architecture, the Moscow-St. Petersburg voyage offers splendid isolation amid those same lakes and rivers and gives you time in Russia’s two most famous -- and beautiful -- cities. To complete the journey by water, river cruise lines also rely on a number of other waterways, including other rivers, canals and Europe’s two largest lakes.

While cruise itineraries on the Moscow to St. Petersburg voyage may range up to 11 to 13 days, the time spent on the boats themselves is typically six days, while the extra days will be spent in Russia’s two main cities.

If starting in Moscow, you’ll have plenty of time to visit Red Square (with onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral) , the Kremlin, GUM Department Store and other sights in the Russian capital – using the riverboat as your hotel and restaurant -- before setting off on the Moscow Canal out of the city. The canal leads north to the Volga, Russia’s most famous river and Europe’s longest.

The Volga

Highlights on the Volga include exploring some of the ancient Golden Ring cities northeast of Moscow -- Yaroslavl and Uglich are the headliners -- where traditional Russian cultural treasures, including colorfully painted and intricately carved wooden houses and Russian Orthodox churches such as the Church of Elijah the Prophet and the Church of St. Dimitry on the Blood -- are on display. You may get a chance to enter one of the local homes for tea or lunch and conversation.

After sailing the Volga, the Volga-Baltic Waterway, composed of a number of rivers, lakes and canals, then leads to the Baltic Sea over a distance of 230 miles, passing through seven locks. Throughout this area of northern Russia, you can get a sense of solitude and isolation as immense as the land itself.

Village Port Stops

But there will still be port stops at villages such as Kuzino or Goritsy for visits to 14th-century monasteries and perhaps a children’s school. Later along the way, you’ll cruise through Europe’s two largest lakes, whose names are unfamiliar to most non-Russians.

The first, Lake Onega -- Europe’s second largest lake -- features the island of Kizhi, a frequent stop for viewing the Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes traditional windmills and wooden churches. One multi-domed early 18th-century church, Transfiguration Cathedral, was built without hammer or nail.

The Svir River then leads to Europe’s largest lake, Lake Ladoga. On the shores of the lake sits Mandrogi, a colorful center of Russian folklore with a number of museums, including the popular Museum of Russian Vodka.

St. Petersburg

Finally, the Neva River flows into St. Petersburg, where you can tour the enormous Hermitage Museum (with the largest collection of paintings in the world), St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress (where St. Petersburg began), and the rococo-style Catherine’s Palace and Park in nearby Pushkin, built by Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great and Empress of Russia.

You can also reverse the journey, starting in St. Petersburg and ending in Moscow, with the same basic stops. But whichever direction you travel along Russia’s timeless waterways, Stride can help you find the river cruise that best meets your needs and budget.

For more tips on choosing a Russian waterways cruise line, see our blog post "Top Ten Tips for Choosing a European River Cruise Line." 

Russian Cruise Rivers Reviews



Aug 2017

Written on

One of a Kind

This trip through the waterways of northwestern Russia was a truly unique and wonderful learning experience, combining the pleasures of cruising on a small ship (wit...



Aug 2017

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Cruise Of The Czars

My daughter and I traveled in May to Russia for the Cruise of the Czars in May of 2017, and it was fantastic. The ship was very modern and well maintained and the st...


d. Burg

Aug 2016

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Great Way to Visit Russia

Went with a group of seven women on the river cruise Moscow to St. Petersburg and we were extremely well satisfied over all . Trip was handled efficient, our tour le...


Bonnie Mack

Aug 2016

Written on

Another Blockbuster for smarTours!

In celebrating 50 consecutive years of international travel this year, I turned to smarTours for the 16th time, and wasn't disappointed with the "Cruise of the Czars...


Patsy Martinez

Jun 2016

Written on

Wonderful cruise!!

This cruise was excellent. The crew, activities, food, entertainment,tours, services, room, etc. everything marvelous. The cruise directors, Galia Saufulina was the ...

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