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On the Volga Through Russia's Heartland.

Few Americans have had the opportunity to explore Russia’s heartland. We suggest you do so along the Volga waterways. Begin in mighty Moscow. Embark the Volga Dream. Explore Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritzy on White Lake. Cruise Lake Onega to visit Kizhi Island's open-air museum and poke around old Mandrogi. Top it all off in grand St. Petersburg.


Russia

Type:Custom Journeys/Rivers & Rails

Mode:Water

Journey

On this journey, R. Crusoe partners with Volga Dream Cruises, and Crusoe travelers share the Volga Dream with other, non-Crusoe travelers.

On the Volga Dream Through Russia’s Heartland. 13 Days.

Departures:

Moscow to St. Petersburg (described below)
Thu 25 May 2017                  
Thu 20 Jun 2017          
Thu 6 Jul 2107           
Tue 18 Jul 2017           
Sun 30 Jul 2017           
Fri 11 Aug 2017         
Thu 24 Aug 2017           
Thu 7 Sep 2017           
Thu 21 Sep 2017    

St. Petersburg to Moscow (reverse of itinerary described below) 
Wed 31 May 2017                     
Wed 14 Jun 2017                
Wed 12 Jul 12017             
Sat 5 Aug 2017             
Thu 17 Aug 2017             
Wed 30 Aug 2017             
Wed 13 Sep 2017               
Wed 27 Sep 2017       



Day 1: Moscow, Russian Federation
• Arrive in Moscow.
• Leisure time.
Overnight in Moscow
 
Day 2-4: Moscow
• Red Square, GUM Department Store, Church of Christ the Savior, cemetery at Novodevichy Convent, Kremlin including Armory Museum. Gold Package: Assumption and Archangel cathedrals. Platinum Package: State Diamond Fund, Cathedral Square, Museum of Cosmonauts. Old Tretyakov Gallery, Metro ride.
• Option for performance at the Bolshoi Theater.
• Embark the Volga Dream.
Overnights in Moscow & aboard the Volga Dream
 
Day 5: Uglich
• Walking tour of the old city.
• Church of Dimitri on the Blood.
• Choral music concert in St. John's Church.

Overnight aboard the Volga Dream
 
Day 6: Yaroslavl
• UNESCO World Heritage site including Spassky Monastery and Church of Elijah the Prophet.
• Costumed tea ceremony at the governor's house.

Overnight aboard the Volga Dream

Day 7: Goritzy
• Cruise to Goritzy.
• Kirill-Belozersky Monastery.
Onboard vodka-tasting.

Overnight aboard the Volga Dream

Day 8: Lake Onega, Kizhi Island
• Cruise Onega, Europe's second-largest lake.
• Kizhi Pogost (UNESCO World Heritage site), open-air museum including Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior.
• Onboard classical piano concert.

Overnight aboard the Volga Dream

Day 9: Svir River, Lake Lagoda, Mandrogi
• Cruise the Svir River to Lake Lagoda.
• Mandrogi traditional village.
Overnight aboard the Volga Dream

Day 10-12: St. Petersburg
• Disembark the Volga Dream, Fabergé Museum.
• Gold Package: Peter and Paul Fortress, Vasilyevsky Spit, Church of the Spilt Blood, Nevsky Prospekt, Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine Palace, leisure time.
• Platinum Package: Peterhof, hydrofoil to city, Vasilyevsky Spit, Church of the Spilt Blood, Peter and Paul Fortress, Nevsky Prospekt, Hermitage, Catherine Palace, Miniature Interactive Museum, canal cruising.

Overnights in St. Petersburg

Day 13: St. Petersburg; United States
• Fly home, or continue on in Russia with R. Crusoe & Son.

Download this trip Itinerary
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Pricing 

Per person sharing room from $4,495 for the Gold Package.

Per person sharing cabin from $5,795 for the Platinum Package.

For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son travel specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.

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About Our Ship.

The history of the Volga Dream goes back to 2005, when Vladimir Esakov purchased a vessel, inspired by the idea of introducing a high-end boutique ship on the Russian waterways. After a comprehensive two-year renovation, he put the refurbished ship into operation in June 2007.

     One of the smallest vessels on the Russian waterways, the Volga Dream carries only 109 guests, maximum, and has a crew of 60. She is the ideal vessel for an intimate cruise experience and personalized service. All cabins and staterooms have an en-suite bathrooms with separate showers, air conditioning, minibars, safes, satellite TVs, and access to hi-speed satellite WiFi.

     Family owner and operated, the Volga Dream offers a truly Russian experience. Most of crew are Russian natives trained personally by the owner to ensure exceptional and friendly service at all times.

     Dining on board the Volga Dream is enjoyable and relaxing. Onboard lunches and dinners are accompanied by a selection of wines.

     Shore excursions are conducted by carefully selected guides, and the small groups are comprised of no more than 25 travelers on the Gold program, and just 15 travelers on the Platinum program. A diverse range of onboard activities offer insight into the Russian culture. Example activities include cooking demonstrations, Russian language lessons, documentary films, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff piano concerts, matriyoshka doll painting classes, Russian costumed dinner with vodka tasting, and other activities.

     Onboard lecturers—professors, writers, and historians—are genuinely connected to Russia and deliver outstanding presentations on a variety of topics, from the Rise of the Soviet Union to Perestroika and modern times, from Tolstoy and Chekhov to Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn, from Diaghilev's Ballet Russes to Russian Christmas traditions.

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Blini Like Mamochka Used to Make.

Blini like Mamochka used to make.

Traditional Russian blini (pancakes) can be traced back a thousand years. Their ancestors were made from oats. A hungry traveler warming up the oats on an open fire likely got distracted, leaving them to fry—and creating the world's first blin ("blin" is the word for one pancake; "blini" is for two or more).

     Since then, blini have changed. Today they are made not only from oats but also wheat, rye, buckwheat, and barley flour.

     During pagan times, blini were cooked for Maslenitsa, also known as Butter Week, Pancake Week, or Cheesefare Week. It was—and still is—celebrated during the last week before Lent. Maslenitsa marked the imminent end of winter and the start of spring. It lasted for a week, during which time people ate almost nothing but pancakes. The blin itself, round and golden, was thought to symbolize the sun. The more blini a woman prepared, the richer the harvest (and the farmer) would be.

     Blini traditionally accompanied a person from birth to death. A new mother was given a blin to bring luck to the newborn. And blini were absolute essential at funeral feasts.

     Blini are eaten a variety of fillings—mushrooms, meat, wild berries, sour cream, onions and potatoes, fish, honey, condensed milk, jam, caviar, cheese, and almost anything else you can think of. The perfect blin is thin and crepelike—thin enough to read a newspaper through.

     The following recipe was given to us by our travel partner in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Russian Blini

Ingredients for Blini

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/3 tsp. salt

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 1/2 c. warm milk

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. butter

 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Gradually stir in milk and flour. Continue mixing by hand until batter is smooth.
  3. Heat a non-stick griddle over medium-high heat, and lightly grease with cooking oil.
  4. Pour about 2 Tbsp. batter onto the pan, and use the back of the spoon or ladle to spread it evenly across the surface in a progressively outward circular motion. Or, if you prefer, tilt the pan quickly to spread the batter evenly.
  5. Cook until the edges are crisp and the center dough looks dry. Loosen with a spatula then flip and cook another minute or so until golden brown. The first side cooked will be a bit browner than the second side.
  6. Remove blin from the griddle pan, and stack onto a plate. Add a little butter to melt on top.
  7. Spread the blin with your desired topping, and fold over and then over again so that you have a wedge that's 1/4 of a circle in shape.
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Call us to start planning
 

800-585-8555

(M-F 9-5 CST)

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