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Russia RIVER CRUISE FROM MOSCOW TO ST. PETERSBURG ON M/S 'ZOSIMA SHASHKOV'
2014: May 13, June 3, June 24, July 15, August 5, August 26, September 16 12 days / 11 nights $0 View Gallery
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The description of tour

RIVER CRUISE FROM MOSCOW TO ST. PETERSBURG ON M/S 'ZOSIMA SHASHKOV'

The ship 'Zosima Shashkov' is named after the Bolshevik commissar and minister of the Sea and River Fleet of the USSR Zosima Alekseyevich Shashkov. It is equipped with modern electronic navigation devices and made to the absolute convenience of our passengers. It was built in Germany in 1985. Refurbished in 2002.The ship is specially designed for the inland waterways cruising, and features outside cabins that allow picturesque views of the passing countryside. All units are comfortably furnished, air-conditioned and have private showers.
Highly professional and experienced crew takes great pride in their ship and maintains it in excellent condition. The dining service offers Continental, Russian and Ukrainian cuisine, as well as gourmet specialties of the visited regions. Most meals are served on board in a warm homelike atmosphere of the ship's dining room. Service personnel are well trained and eager to offer assistance. Public areas may include bars, small souvenir shops, music salon and/or beauty parlor. Laundry service is also available.
Our government-licensed English speaking tour guide will accompany you during on shore excursions and will fill you in on the history, mythology, and art of the places you visit. In addition to extensive sight-seeing outings, our on board entertainment program includes daily musical performances, lectures by professional guest speakers, folk shows, Russian and Ukrainian language lessons, passengers talent shows, outdoor shashlyk (shish-kabob) picnic at recreation stops, Grand Tea Ceremony, Blini and Vodka tasting.


Day 1-3: MOSCOW
Transfer from the airport to ship*, city tour by bus, Kremlin tour with 1cathedral, tour of the Novodevichy convent, Tretyakov gallery, 1 lunch in town.
   Moscow was founded as a fortress by Yury Dolgorukiy in 1147 and now it is among the biggest cities in the world. Kremlin is the historical center of Moscow. The heart of it is Armory Chamber - the treasury of all Tsars and Grand Dukes of Russia. Here you can visit Blagoveschenskiy Cathedral, where the works of famous Russian icon-painter Andrew Rublev are presented to the public.
Famous Russian Giants can be found here as well: Tsar Bell and Tsar Canon are the unique masterpieces of Ancient Russian Foundry. Red Square is a symbol of Russia. The central Spasskiy Tower with the famous Kuranty Clock and St.Bazil' Cathedral are among places of interest when visiting Moscow.
There are more than 100 museums in Moscow. Tretiakov Art Gallery and Pushkin Art Museum have the richest collections of paintings. There is a famous Ascention Church (16 th century) which is situated in the open sky museum Kolomenskoe.
There are 30 theatres in Moscow, among them is the biggest Bol'shoi Theatre.
Ostankinskaya TV Tower is among Moscow miracles. Its height is almost 540 meters. Moscow Subway Stations, resembling palaces, also attract many tourists.
Moscow University named after the famous Russian scientist M.Lomonosov is a pride of Moscow.
Moscow channel built by many political prisoners in 1937 was named after the city in 1947.It connects Moscow with Volga River. Later, in early fifties, all 5 seas: White Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Azov Sea, Caspian Sea were connected by Volgo-Donskoi and Volgo-Baltiyski Channels.
Day 4: UGLICH
City tour, Kremlin, Dmitry on the Blood Church, Transfiguration cathedral.
   Uglich is a town in the Yaroslavl province, a river port and a railway station. It produces clocks, watches, cheese and other milk products. Heavy machinery is repaired here. There is a hydroelectric station. The population numbers 39,000. The town has a museum of art and history.
The name of Uglich is a derivative of “ugol” (“a corner”). The Volga makes a sharp bend at this place, forming a corner, or “ugol”, hence the name.
Founded as early as 937, it was first mentioned in chronicles only in 1148. A local legend says that the town existed in the days of Holy Princess Olga, Equal-to-the Apostoles. It served as the capital of the Uglich principality from 1218 till 1238 when it was seized and devastated by the Mongols who killed most of its population. The rest were taken prisoners or fled to the dense forest surrounding the town. In the 14th century Moscow began uniting Russian lands and Uglich was annexed to the Moscow principality. In 1371 it was burnt to ashes by the prince of Tver who struggled with Moscow for supremacy.
In the 15th century the town prospered and even coined its own money. After Ivan the Terrible’s death, his son Prince (Tsarevich) Dimitry, the last in the Rurik dynasty, was sent to Uglich with his mother and was killed here at the age of eight in 1591 in uncertain circumstances. His death was not only a tragedy for his family, it was followed by many troubles in Russia, such as internecine conflicts and a Polish invasion. Three false pretenders to the Moscovite throne (one after another) claimed to be Prince Dimitry. They are known as False Dimitrys.
A team of restorers has been working in the town’s historical center since 1952. As a result, many old buildings have been saved from destruction. According to the plan for Uglich’s development and construction, recently approved by the local authorities, its historical center will be preserved intact.
Day 5: KOSTROMA and YAROSLAVL
City tour by bus in both cities, Ipatiev monastery in Kostroma, Trinity cathedral in Kostroma, bus transfer to Yaroslavl, Transfiguration monastery and church of Elyjah the Prophet in Yaroslavl.
   Kostroma is as old as Moscow. Located on the left bank of the Volga River, it abounds in magnificent monuments of old architecture. Its picturesque suburbs have long been a source of inspiration for many Russian artists.
At the confluence of the Kostroma and Volga Rivers rise the white stone walls and golden cupolas of the Ipatievsky Monastery. It was founded in the latter half of the XIII century to protect the approaches to the city from the upper reaches of the Volga.
In 1958, a unique open-air museum of wooden architecture was set up at the walls of the Ipatievsky Monastery. Churches, old houses, barns, water- and windmills, and small bathhouses were brought from various villages in the Kostroma Region. Among the exhibits, the Church of the Synaxis of the Virgin (1552) from the village of Kholm and the Church of the Transfiguration (1713) command particular attention.
The city of Yaroslavl was founded XI century by prince Yaroslav the Wise on confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosli. Yaroslavl is well known for the beauty of its temples of XVII century, saved since “golden century” of Yaroslavl in the period when skilful architects and icon-painters were working here. Amazing are the frescoes of Il’ya the Prophet church situated on the main square. Nikola Nadein church with carving gilded Ikonostasis executed in baroque style and unique fifteen-dome Ioan Predtechi church are among ceremonial monuments of the Yaroslavl architectural school.
The Spaskiy monastery remained for a long time as a main cultural and spiritual centre of Yaroslavl. The rarest monuments of the XVI-XVII centuries are kept in its limits. Wooden walls and towers were elevated in the XVI century. The central part of the Spaskiy monastery ensemble is the ancient building of Yaroslavl.
At the present time there is a historic-architectural reserve museum in Spasskiy monastery, created in the result of joining historic-natural (1864) and historic (1895) museums. An International Festival of choral and bell music is held on the museum territory.
Day 6: GORITZY
The Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake, museum of icons.
   The pier and village of Goritsy are situated on the left bank of the Sheksna River at the foot of the Maura hill. In the southern area of the village is situated the working Goritsy Convent of Resurrection.
The Convent was founded in 1544 by the princess Ephrosinya Khovanskaya, wife of the youngest son of the Moscow prince Ivan III, prince Andrey Staritsky. She organized a plot against Ivan IV (the Terrible) intending to enthrone her son. The plot was revealed and Ephrosinya was forced to take the veil and exiled to the convent she had created. 6 years later all the family was exterminated, and Ephrosinya was drowned in the Sheksna River. Subsequently, the monastery became the place of imprisonment for spouses and relatives of the noble that fell into disgrace ( Ivan the Terrible`s two wives, Boris Godunov`s daughter and some others). In 1932 the convent was closed and many nuns were banished, some of them took shelter in neighbouring villages.
Recently the work of restoration has been undertaken.
About 1,5 km west of the village there is a landscape memorial – Maura Mountain of 185 m of altitude. A magnificent view opens up from the hill. The legend says that on the top of the hill saint Kirill would have a vision of the place to found the monastery. There one can see a stone with a recess, according to the locals, it`s Kirill`s foot imprint . Close to the stone a Cross and the Chapel of Saint Kirill and Ferapont were erected not long ago and sanctified in 2000.
7 km off Goritsy is located the town of Kirillov with one of the largest monastery in the northern Russia – Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery.
Day 7: KIZHY
The museum of wooden architecture.
   The island of Kizhy is located at the northern end of the Onega Lake, the second largest lake in Europe. This region is called Zaonezhye (“behind the Lake Onega”). The island is 7 km long, 1,5 wide, longwise and elongeted. The central part is a little elevated.
The word “Kizhy” means “game” in Karelian. Probably it was a site of pagan rites for Ugrian and Finnish tribes. The island first gained significance in the 14th c. as a spot on the water route for trade between the White Sea to the north and the merchant-dominated city of Novgorod on the Volkhov River. In 1951 an open-air museum of different wood structures brought in from nearby villages was founded there. In 1960 it became State Museum of History, Architecture and Ethnography and contains more than 70  chapels, belfries, log-houses, mills, bath-houses, barns, smithies.
The major structure is the magnificent Church of the Transfiguration built in 1714, with 22 onion-domed cupolas, some of which rise to a height of 121 feet. The composition represents three octagons of different size placed one on another. The work was performed by the carpenter Nestor.  Next to the Church of the Transfiguration stands the Church of the Intercession (Pokrovskaya, built in 1764).  Both churches interiors are richly ornamented with religious objects: the former has especially noteworthy iconostases, the latter – locally painted icons. The Church of the Transfiguration is actually closed for restoration. The architectural ensemble is completed with the bell tower situated between the churches. The bell tower is the latest of the three structures of the Kizhi ensemble. It was built in 1862 instead of the old dilapidated bell tower.
The Church of Lazar of Murom is located nearby. It is the oldest monument of wooden architecture in Russia – the Church was built in the middle of the 14th century. This church was brought here from the Murom Monastery, situated at the southern shore of Onega Lake, in 1960.
Among the many examples of wooden secular architecture are several peasant houses ranging from the simple hut to the quite substantial Oshevnev family`s house-barn that sheltered farm animals, tools and grain as well as the family. A wooden wind mill, large and small granaries, and other farm buildings also represent this category of wooden architecture.
Day 8: SVIRSTROY
Free time.
   Svirstroy is the urban type settlement, it is situated on the left bank of the Svir river. The settlement sprang up during the construction of the Nijnesvirskoi GES. Rapids, formed in river-bed in the place of crossing of the valley with hilly ridges were sank by the reservoir, as they formed obstacles for shipping.
Day 9-12: ST. PETERSBURG
Bus city tour, Peter and Paul Fortress, Hermitage, Peterghof (park), transfer from the ship to the airport*.
   The city of St. Petersburg is situated on the estuary of the Neva River in the mouth of the Baltic Sea. The Russian Venice - that's how St. Petersburg is called (in 1924-1991 years - Leningrad), it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was built by Peter The Great.
Winter Palace and Dvorcovoia Square, Isaakievskaia Square, the Admiralty, Strelki of Vasil'evskii island, Petropavlovskaya fortress, Summer garden are renouned throughout the world.
Cruiser "Avrora", Marsovo field and Piskarevskoe graveyard are keeping memory about dramatic events of the revolution of 1917 years and heroic defense during the Great Patriotic War.
Here one can find numerous city-museums, the most famous of them are Hermitage and Russian museum, keeping unique treasures of culture and Russian arts. F. Dostoevskii, A. Blok, A. Ahmatova, P. Chaikovskii created their masterpieces in St. Petersburg.
Saint Petersburg is a birthplace of numerous musical festivals; more then 20 theatres are open in the city. Suburbs of Petersburg are wonderful: Petergof with cascades of fountains, Pushkin with picturesque ponds, imperials palace and Pavlovsk, Gatchin, Oranienbaum parks, Gulf of Finland coast.
 
Notes: * For a groups of 20 or more.
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