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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 Svirstoy. Top it all off in grand St. Petersburg.


14 Days.

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. 14 Days.

Departures:

Moscow to St. Petersburg (described below)
Fri 18 May 2018
Mon 16 Jul 2018
Sat 28 Jul 2018
Tue 21 Aug 2018
Sun 2 Sep 2018
Thu 20 Sep 2018 

St. Petersburg to Moscow (reverse of itinerary described below) 
Thu 24 May 2018
Tue 12 Jun 2018
Wed 15 Aug 2018
Wed 26 Sep 2018     



Day 1: Moscow, Russian Federation
• Arrive in Moscow.
• Hotel check-in, leisure time.
Overnight in Moscow
 
Day 2-4: Moscow
• Kremlin, Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, GUM Department Store, Old Tretyakov Gallery, leisure time, Bolshoi backstage tour, Moscow Metro.
• Option for performance at the Bolshoi Theater.
Overnights in Moscow

Day 5: Moscow
• New Tretyakov Gallery curator's tour.
• Embark the Volga Dream, begin cruising, welcome reception.
Overnight aboard Volga Dream

 
Day 6: Uglich
• Walking tour of the old city.
• Church of Dimitri on the Blood.
• Choral music concert in St. John's Church.
• Costumed Russian tea ceremony and cooking class onboard ship.

Overnight aboard Volga Dream
 
Day 7: Yaroslavl
• UNESCO World Heritage site including Spassky Monastery, Spaso-Preoprazhensky Cathedral, and Church of Elijah the Prophet.
• Costumed reception at the governor's house.

Overnight aboard Volga Dream

Day 8: Goritzy
• Cruise to Goritzy.
• Ferapontov Monastery.
Onboard vodka-tasting.

Overnight aboard Volga Dream

Day 9: Lake Onega, Kizhi Island
• Cruise Onega, Europe's second-largest lake.
• Kishi Island to visit Kizhi Pogost open-air museum (UNESCO World Heritage site) including Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior.
• Onboard classical piano concert.

Overnight aboard Volga Dream

Day 10: Svir River, Svirstoy
• Cruise the Svir River.
• Svirstoy village visits including traditional private homes and elementary school.
Overnight aboard Volga Dream

Day 11: St. Petersburg
• Disembark the Volga Dream, Peter and Paul Fortress, Nevsky Prospekt, Fabergé Museum.
Overnight in St. Petersburg

Day 12: Pushkin, Peterhof, St. Petersburg
• Drive to Pushkin, Catherine Palace and its Amber Room.
• Drive to Peterhof, UNESCO site.
• Return to St. Petersburg, Yusupov Palace.
Overnight in St. Petersburg

Day 13: St. Petersburg
• Hermitage Museum visit prior to public opening hours.
• Cruise the old city by launch.
• Russian professor's home visit with dinner.
Overnight in St. Petersburg

Day 14: St. Petersburg; United States
• Fly home, or continue on with R. Crusoe & Son.

Download this trip Itinerary
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Pricing

Per person sharing cabin from $5,945 for this 14-day itinerary.

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 18 travelers each.

     Onboard programs add to the experience by offering a taste of traditional Russian customs and 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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(M-F 9-5 CST)

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