Russian Waterways

From Moscow to St. Petersburg aboard the AmaKatarina

Russian Waterways route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $3999  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Moscow, Russia
Depart: St. Petersburg, Russia
Lodging: 11 nights aboard a premium river vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, River Cruising
Trip Level: 8-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

This cruise is no longer being offered. Please see our list of European River Cruises for other options.

Our unforgettable voyage through the heart of Russia begins with an exciting exploration of Moscow, then brings us along the Volga River to the enchanting Golden Ring cities of Uglich and Yaroslavl. Navigating along the Volga-Baltic canals and across Europe’s two largest lakes, Onega and Ladoga, we end our voyage in marvelous St. Petersburg, a rival to Paris and Venice for grandeur and romance.


Day 1

Arrive in Moscow and board the AmaKatarina. Relax in your stateroom or explore the city on your own before meeting your fellow travelers at the Welcome Dinner.

Day 2
Exploring Moscow

We enjoy a city tour that includes Red Square and many other well-known sights, with some free time to shop for souvenirs or wander on our own, perhaps to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral or GUM, the vast Soviet-Era department store. We enjoy lunch on a day boat as we cruise the Moscow River past the imposing façade of the Kremlin. Late this afternoon, we visit Poklonnaya (Bow) Hill and its monument to WWII, and tour the city’s amazing Metro, quite possibly the world’s most extravagant subway system—many of the stations are adorned with chandeliers, sculptures and elaborate frescoes. The ship moors overnight in Moscow.

Day 3
Exploring Moscow / Set sail

This morning, we venture beyond the walls of the Kremlin for a fascinating guided tour of the former residence of the Czars and center of the Russian Orthodox faith. Our tour includes a visit to the Kremlin Armory, one of Moscow’s oldest museums, with a vast collection of weaponry, jewelry, and historical artifacts. The ship departs this evening for Uglich.

Day 4

Located on the banks of the Volga, Uglich was founded by merchants in 1148 and is now home to some of Russia’s most beautiful churches and cathedrals. After arriving this evening, we enjoy a guided tour of the city and visit the Chambers of Prince Dimitry and the magnificent Church of Dimitry on the Blood, dedicated to the tragic death of Ivan the Terrible’s young son. The ship departs later tonight for Yaroslavl.

Day 5

Founded in 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, Yaroslavl is one of Russia’s oldest cities, tracing its roots back to the days of the Vikings. Our guided tour explores the city’s history through its architecture, with stops at the fortified 12th-century Transfiguration Monastery and the Yaroslavl Museum of Russian Art, located in the former residence of the Governor of Yaroslavl. The ship departs early this afternoon and cruises overnight.

Day 6

Goritsy is a peaceful farming town and a typical Russian village. After arriving early this afternoon, we have a guided tour that includes the Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake and the Museum of Icons. We return to the ship and continue on in the late afternoon to the island of Kizhi.

Day 7

An island situated at the northern end of Lake Onega, Kizhi is home to some of the most amazing wooden architecture in Russia. In 1764, local residents built the Church of Intercession, with towering walls and 22 domes—all constructed without a single nail. We arrive in the early evening for a walking tour that includes the Museum of Wooden Architecture. The ship departs later tonight.

Day 8

At noon today we arrive in Svirstroy, a town 100 miles from St. Petersburg with a population of only a thousand people. During our visit, we will have an opportunity to sample grilled shashlyk, Russia’s very popular (and delicious) version of shish kebab. We’ll also be treated to a private visit to the home of a local Russian family, where we will gain new insights into everyday life in Svirstroy and experience warm Russian hospitality firsthand. We depart mid-afternoon and cruise overnight to St. Petersburg.

Day 9
St. Petersburg

One of Russia’s former capitals, dating from the early 18th-century, St. Petersburg was built to Peter the Great’s exact specifications. After breakfast, we disembark the ship and travel by hydrofoil to the Hermitage, one of the oldest, largest, and most awe-inspiring museums in the world. Founded by Catherine the Great, the museum is a complex of six buildings, including the former Winter Palace, and houses nearly three million works of art. After our visit, we relax a bit with an enjoyable lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon, our sightseeing tour of this splendid city will include the Peter & Paul Fortress, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and St. Isaacs Cathedral. The ship moors overnight in St. Petersburg.

Day 10
St. Petersburg

We visit the nearby town of Pushkin, where Catherine’s Palace was once the summer residence of the Russian Czars. This excursion includes a tour of the Cameron Gallery, which features formal state rooms and dining rooms embellished with baroque and neoclassical furnishings and décor. You will also visit the reconstructed Amber Room, considered by many to be the Eighth Wonder of the World, with its dazzling amber-covered walls. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. This evening, experience a traditional Russian ballet performance at the Hermitage Theater, or opt for a colorful and lively “Russian Folklore Show.” The ship moors in St. Petersburg overnight.

Day 11
St. Petersburg

We depart by hydrofoil for Peterhof, St. Petersburg’s most spectacular Imperial Estate. Also known as the “Russian Versailles,” the palace was built on the shore of the Gulf of Finland by Peter the Great, initially as a resting place en route to the Imperial Naval base. Our tour includes the Lower Gardens, the Grand Cascade and Samson Fountain, which commemorates Russia’s victory over Sweden during the Great Northern War. The ship moors in St. Petersburg overnight.

Day 12
St. Petersburg / Depart

Our Russian cruise comes to an end as we prepare for homeward flights.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

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What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Cruising days provide ample opportunities to relax on board, while shore excursions require a moderate amount of walking, often along uneven cobblestone streets and up and down stairs. To better accommodate our guests and their individual fitness levels, three levels of walking tours are offered whenever possible: "Regular Walkers" go at an average pace, "Gentle Walkers" proceed in a more relaxed manner, and "Active Walkers" move at a faster pace, which allows them some extra free time. Whenever possible, a "Late Starters" group is offered for guests who prefer to sleep in a bit.

Explanation of Trip Levels


This cruise is no longer being offered. Please see our list of European River Cruises for other options.

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $400
100 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $200 per person
120-90 days prior to departure: $400 per person
89-60 days prior to departure: 35% of trip cost
59-30 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
29-7 days prior to departure: 80% of trip cost
6 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Deck Plan

Trip Cost Includes:

  • 11-night Cruise Accommodation in an Outside Stateroom, most with balconies
  • Daily Sightseeing Programs as outlined in the Itinerary
  • All Meals on board; Early-riser Coffee, Buffet Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Free-flowing Wine and juice with every Dinner on board the Ship
  • Bottled Water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • Cocktail Reception & Welcome Dinner
  • Home Visit with Russian Family
  • Ballet Performance at the Hermitage Theater, the Private Theater of the Czars
  • Special highlights including lectures, Russian language classes, theme dinners, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano
  • Physician on board
  • All English Language onboard in a non-smoking Environment (except Sun Deck)
  • All Transfers with the Purchase of Cruise & Air package
  • All local Taxes

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Airfare; arrival/departure transfers; taxes or government fees; passports or visa fees baggage fees; travel, health, accident or other insurance vaccinations; laundry; any meals or beverages not specified in itinerary; optional excursions; gratuities or other items of services of a personal nature.


There is no more comfortable way to discover Russia than from aboard the recently renovated 212-passenger AmaKatarina.  Each stateroom—most with balconies—provides a bathroom with a separate shower, individually controlled air-conditioning, safe, hairdryer, TV, and mini-refrigerator. Public areas include two dining venues, where you can savor a delightful mix of Russian specialties and international cuisine, an expansive lounge, conference hall for onboard lectures, fitness room, massage and hair salon, and an infirmary staffed by a physician. An elevator reaches all decks. Complimentary bottled water is provided daily and wine, beer, and soft drinks flow freely at dinner.